David Gaudu and Groupama-FDJ up to Vaujany

Surrounded by a remarkable group on the occasion of the seventh stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, the first in the Alps, David Gaudu fought hard against the best drivers of the race this Saturday. On the last climb, he only had to let three men escape in the last few kilometers before reaching the seventh position of the day, forty seconds behind the winner of the escape Carlos Verona. The Breton climber climbs to sixth place in the general classification, 1’40 from the new yellow jersey Primoz Roglic, but only sixteen seconds from the podium. All on the eve of the last act, to the Plateau de Salaison.

“It was great to put pressure on the Iron Cross,” Michael Storer

Climbers have been waiting for him since last Sunday. I was finally about to start the big alpine weekend, departing from Saint-Chaffrey, with a full-bodied snack. It is indeed with the ascent of the mythical Col du Galibier that the seventh stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, of just 134 kilometers, began around 1 p.m. As everyone expected, the race was tough from the start due to the fight for the breakaway to which the Groupama-FDJ cycling team gladly joined. Many offensives then erupted before several groups of runners managed to get out. Inside one of them: Bruno Armirail, back in the attack the day after his raid on Gap. After a good effort in the first hour of the race, the Occitan even climbed to sixth place at the top of Galibier before finally joining a breakaway of nineteen men. However, it has never benefited from a significant advantage due to the presence of dangerous men inside. At the foot of the second ascent of the day, the no less famous Iron Cross (29 km at 5%), the advance of Bruno Armirail and his friends was less than three minutes. In the management at first, the peloton finally picked up the pace in the last third of the climb, before the same Groupama-FDJ cycling team took control, about five kilometers from the summit.

Olivier Le Gac, Valentin Madouas and Kevin Geniets were the first to participate. “It was a beautiful mountain stage, and everyone needed to know where it was after the first five days when we saw that things were going pretty well.meant Thierry Bricaud. We wanted to know if the legs responded to the mountain. We are in Dauphiné to get a result but also to take good automatic actions. It was an opportunity “. “It simply came to our notice then. launched David. If we never take it, we will not succeed. I had confidence after my victory. We wanted to do things right and the team was going strong. So we decided to take the race by the hand and harden it. If we hadn’t done that, we would have risked taking a large group to the finish line. We have tried to destabilize Jumbo-Visma a bit “. “It simply came to our notice thenadded Michael Storer. Few teams had riders strong enough to prove anything. “. The excavation work of the team members has also reduced the platoon to about thirty units and expelled the yellow jersey Wout van Aert. At the top, only fifteen riders still formed the “peloton”, including David Gaudu and Michael Storer who found … Bruno Armirail at the time of overturning. “Yesterday was not a big day, but today he could not be in front by chanceThierry pointed out. It was helpful in the end. It was a great relief to finish the work that the team members had done a little earlier. “

“We can be proud” david gaudu

The Occitan thus led the train of the group of favorites during part of the descent, before taking the reins as they approached the final ascent to Vaujany (6 km at 7%), which the “platoon” began with 1’30 from Carlos Verona. . Bruno Armirail insisted on up to four kilometers of the goal before giving way to Michael Storer, who set a steady pace for an extra kilometer. Then began the battle between the top favorites. David Gaudu retired to follow Jonas Vingegaard’s first offense, like six other competitors, but the Breton was unable to do anything when Primoz Roglic went on the attack about 1,500 meters from the line. The tricolor climber gritted his teeth in pursuit and finally cut the line in seventh place, twenty-seven seconds behind the Slovenian. “I felt pretty good, then my legs spoke in the final, David commented. I tried everything when Roglic left, but I lost 200 meters to change wheels. Not so bad for a first stage race. It is quite encouraging for the future. The team has done a great job and I thank them. I’m disappointed I couldn’t finish, but I think we ran the way we should. There were still three of us at the bottom of the last climb, we had put Bruno on the getaway. In the peloton, the boys did a great job. Olivier, who is not a basic climber, walked away when there were only 40 boys left. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We can be proud of what we have done today. Weighing a WorldTour race as a team is a pleasure. “

“We have tried to put things rightadded Thierry. There is still some work to be done, but it is going in the right direction. On the contrary, there is competition, and we must not lose sight of the fact that everyone is back from training, that we have to digest all this and that the Tour is still a bit far away. We are in the traffic times of July, and it is more than interesting “. On the eve of the grand final, which this Sunday will include the highlights of the ascents to the Coll de la Colombière and the Plateau de Salaison, David Gaudu has risen to sixth place overall, 1’40 behind Primoz Roglic but in only sixteen seconds off the podium. “Tomorrow is another day, with a new, difficult and different climb. David slipped. We will not give up and we will try to achieve great things “. “It will be a stage almost identical to today’s, concluded Thierry. We will climb less high but it will be so hard, even harder. It is a typical trap stage at the end of the Dauphiné. We are not immune to surprises. ” “It has been a pleasure doing this teamwork today, and why not do it again tomorrow? Bruno smiled. Personally, it has gone much better today and I hope it gets even better tomorrow. We will give it our all. David is not far from the podium, so why not get him on the podium! »

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