German youngster Phil Bauhaus stuns French duo Arnaud Démare and Bryan Coquard, winning Critérium du Dauphiné stage 5.

Macon, France (AFP) — German youngster Phil Bauhaus won the bunch sprint at the Critérium du Dauphiné Thursday. Sunweb’s sprinter stunned French duo Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) in the fifth stage in Macon, France.

“It’s a great feeling to win here at the Dauphiné,” said Bauhaus. It was his first WorldTour victory.

Stage 5, top 10

Top-10 overall

The flat stage precedes three days in the mountains where the form of Tour de France favorites Chris Froome (Sky), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), and Richie Porte (BMC) will be scrutinized on some iconic climbs.

For now, Belgium’s Thomas de Gendt of Lotto-Soudal retains the overall lead ahead of Porte and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Froome and Contador are both close behind.

A four-rider breakaway animated the day. However, the sprinters weren’t about to pass up a final opportunity for a stage win. So far, two of the Dauphiné’s sprint stages have gone to breakaway riders. Cannondale-Drapac’s Dylan van Baarle was the last rider caught with 7km to go.

Bauhaus, 22, got his nose ahead after a long, nervous final two kilometers in the peloton. Katusha-Alpecin tried to control the sprint for Alexander Kristoff, but the team in red was swamped in the final kilometer.

“I had a good shot at a stage win on Monday. I felt good and had two teammates leading me in,” Bauhaus said.

“To be compared to them I’ll have to win a lot more,” he added, referring to top German sprinters Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel, and John Degenkolb. Bauhaus lives near Greipel and often trains alongside him.

Friday’s stage features a beyond category mountain which will also be on the Tour de France, Mont du Chat. But the finish line in Villars-les-Dombes comes after a treacherous descent to the bottom of the mountain at the end of the 145.5km race.

“It will probably be over for me but you never know,” said de Gendt, who has just a 27-second lead on Porte.

“I think he’s the best climber in the world now,” added Ag2r La Mondiale’s Romain Bardet of Porte.

Stage 5 results

General classification