In what can only be described as one of the most chaotic finales in the history of the Critérium du Dauphiné, race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) failed to start the final stage while second-place rider Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) cracked under a late-race attack by Colombian Daniel Martínez (EF Pro Cycling). And all of this happened well behind an impressive solo victory by American Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma).
Whew! That’s a lot of action. Sunday’s fifth and final stage looped around the historic Alpine resort town of Megève. But it included no less than seven climbs. And on this day the early break was not about TV time, but instead real racing, as the favorites attacked from the start.
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck—Quick-Step) and Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) proved to be the most insistent in a bunch that included so many heavy hitters, and they spent much of the day off the front. But they were caught on final ascension up the Côte de Domancy — where a certain Bernard Hinault won his memorable world championship title in 1980 — and another race unfolded as Kuss powered off the front while Pinot struggled under the pressure from Martínez.
For Kuss, victory here in France confirmed his impressive stage win in the Vuelta a España last year, and of course, it offered some consolation to the Jumbo-Visma team, after Roglič was forced to drop out as a result of his crash on Saturday. Martínez became the third Colombian to win the prestigious Dauphiné.