Hey! Don’t look now, but the Dutch Jumbo-Visma team did not actually win today at the Critérium du Dauphiné! No — that honor went to Italian Davide Formolo who held on to a narrow win on the mountainous third stage after a long breakaway. But Jumbo did not miss by much, as race leader Primož Roglič sprinted to the line ahead of the other pre-race favorites, just some 33 seconds behind.
For many, today’s stage was nearly a carbon copy of stage two, as Jumbo–Visma rode a strong tempo for most of the day, setting Roglič up perfectly for the final. And just like stage two, French climber Thibaut Pinot, followed in the Slovenian’s shadow across the line.
But behind, surprises continued. The British Ineos team, that boasts no less than three Tour de France winners, continued to falter. Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome once again struggled to follow the pace on the final climb to Saint Martin de Belleville, while 2018 winner Geraint Thomas also finished well off the pace. Defending Tour champion Egan Bernal, once again isolated, then faded in the final meters, finishing nine seconds behind Roglič at the line.
And with the Tour de France now barely two weeks away, suspense is building as Ineos — winner of seven of the last eight Tours — finally appears to have met its match.