2021 Critérium du Dauphiné stage 3: fastman Sonny Colbrelli scores win in uphill dash
American Brandon McNulty rode into third on the stage in the final meters.
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Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) scored the stage 3 win at the 2021 Critérium du Dauphiné. Wearing the green points-leader jersey, the powerful sprinter closed the final, uphill meters the quickest, after Alexander Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) opened the sprint early from the far left side of the road.
“After two second-places, today I’m very happy for this victory,” Colbrelli said.
“It was a very hard last kilometer,” added Colbrelli. “I followed Aranburu’s wheel but it was tough to pass him.”
Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) maintained a slim, two-second advantage on Colbrelli on the general classification.
In the closing meters of the stage, American Brandon McNulty (UAE-Team Emirates) rode into third place.
🏆 🇮🇹 @sonnycolbrelli s’impose tout en puissance !
🏆 🇮🇹 @sonnycolbrelli wins the stage!#Dauphiné pic.twitter.com/DV5eFlZYVJ
— Critérium du Dauphiné (@dauphine) June 1, 2021
How it happened
A break of Loïc Vliegen (Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux) and Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation) had just over a minute gap with 62km to go.
The largest advantage they attained was nearly four minutes.
Jumbo-Visma, Bora-Hansgrohe, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, and Movistar Team were all patrolling the front for their sprint stars and GC contenders. These teams brought back some of this gap to the two men but allowed the margin to remain above 30-45 seconds for the following 30km.
The pace was kept high as teams jostled for position near the front on narrow and winding roads.
Just inside 30km to go, the gap to the front had evaporated and the break looked like they were about to be were caught, but Vliegen and Goldstein surged again, to hold off the pursuers and extend the gap for another 6km.
With the writing on the wall, Goldstein dropped back to the main group that was just over his shoulder, but Vliegen pressed on solo for 3km more. At 18km to go, the race was back together.
Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), Simon Geschke and Guillaume Martin (both Cofidis) went down in what looked like a touch of wheels at 15km to go. The Cofidis squad spent the remainder of the stage trying to bring their riders back to the group.
Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) crashed out earlier in the stage, a loss for the U.S.-based squad.
Under the 10km to go kite, Ineos-Grenadiers were drilling the pace from and forcing splits in the main bunch. Geraint Thomas was at the head of the action, wanting to remain in the safest position in the peloton.
The Movistar squad shadowed the Ineos riders on the front at 5km to go, with Valverde looking to better his third-place GC standing.
Colbrelli, Alexander Kristoff, and Fabio Jakobsen were all near the front at 1.5km to go, on the wheels of their respective leadout men.
After navigating a series of roundabouts and turns, Thomas was still in a good position on the front when the sprinters took over.
Aranburu was the first to go, just inside of 500m. A patient Colbrelli started to open up, and then really hit his afterburners inside of the final 200m, in a long, slightly uphill straight drag to the line to take the stage win.
What’s to come
Stage 4 of the Dauphiné is a time trial on a hilly course between Firminy and Roche-la-Molière (in the Loire region). “It’s very rolling but the last kilometer is uphill,” warned race director Gilles Maignan. The sprinters’ stages are over, and this is the only time trial of the eight-stage event.
Results will be available once stage has completed.