Critérium du Dauphiné. Stage 7. Astana's Fuglsang is new race leader after intense queen stage
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM The Critérium du Dauphiné has a new overall leader after Stage 7, as Jakob Fuglsang finished second behind stage winner Wout Poels and moved into pole position for the GC with one more day to go.
Alexey Lutsenko and Magnus Cort made it in the day's breakaway, they got caught on the final climb and together with Gorka Izagirre, they put Fuglsang in a position for his attack in the final kilometers, Astana Pro Team's official website reads.
"Today went almost exactly how we planned it. We only had hoped that there was a possibility to create a bigger time gap and to go for a stage victory for Alexey Lutsenko or Magnus Cort, who were in the breakaway, or for me. For us, it was a good situation to have two men in the breakaway. In the end, it all came back together in one big group. I decided to attack because I didn't want to ride all the way to the finish with them. But it was not easy to sprint for the stage win, as I was very cold, just like everybody else.
Tomorrow will be a hard stage. I know from back in 2017 when Richie Porte had to defend the lead, that it's not easy to defend a jersey on the final day. For sure it's going to be difficult. But the team is riding very strong so far and I hope this gives them the motivation as well to dig deep one more time. And I will just try to defend my jersey, we will see what tomorrow brings," said Jakob Fuglsang.
Stage 7 was 133,5 kilometers long and went from Saint-Genix-Les-Villages to Pipay, over three 1stcategory climbs and a summit finish on Montée de Pipay (HC). After a hard start, a group of 22 riders went clear, including Kazakh champion Alexey Lutsenko and Magnus Cort. On the final climb, Lutsenko attacked and took Michael Woods with him, but they were not able to stay away from the chasing but strongly reduced peloton. In the end, it came back together, and Jakob Fuglsang was still surrounded by Gorka Izagirre, Lutsenko and Cort. Jakob Fuglsang attacked in the final kilometers of the stage and rode to the finish with Emanuel Buchmann and Wout Poels. Poels took the stage win in front of Fuglsang, who moved into the overall lead.
Today is the final day of Critérium du Dauphiné. Stage 8 will bring the riders from Cluses to Champéry, racing for 113,5 kilometers and including seven climbs of which a 1st and 3rd categorized climb will be in the final 20 kilometers of the race. Jakob Fuglsang leads the race with 8 seconds on Adam Yates and 20 seconds on Tejay van Garderen. Astana Pro Team is also back in the lead in the Team Classification, defending a 4'49" gap on Team Jumbo-Visma.