HTC-Highroad’s German sprinter John Degenkolb outkicked Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) to win Thursday’s stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, a 174km trip from La Motte-Servolex to Mâcon.
Two days after claiming victory in Lyon in stage 2, the 22-year-old Degenkolb was again the quickest in the pack in the final rush for the line, this time edging the Edvald Boasson Hagen 9Sky) and the Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank).
The Tomas Vaitkus (Astana) ended the 173.5km stretch from La Motte Servelex to Macon in fourth ahead of the William Bonnet (FdJ) and Garmin-Cervelo’s Tyler Farrar.
The stage was marked by an early breakaway by Jeremy Roy and Adriano Malori but they were caught two kilometers from the finish.
Wiggins, who claimed the lead after finishing second in Wednesday’s time trial, contented himself by staying with the peloton to remain over a minute in front of Cadel Evans.
“I still had the effort from the time trial in my legs but that’s normal,” he said. “The stage went well with a break from two riders. But it wasn’t difficult to control that.
“As far as the next stages, we will have to see how it pans out. The hardest stage will certainly be on Saturday when we have a final climb that I don’t know. For the moment I have the legs for it but (Friday) is when we have the real Dauphine.”
Friday’s fifth stage travels 210km on a mountainous route between Villars-les-Dombes and Les Gets, including a 10.7km long ascent to the finish.
The race ends on Sunday.
- 1. John Degenkolb, HTC- Highroad, in 4:15:41
- 2. Boasson Hagen Edvald, Sky Procycling, at s.t
- 3. Jose Haedo Juan, Saxo Bank Sungard, at s.t.
- 4. Tomas Vaitkus, Pro Team Astana, at s.t.
- 5. William Bonnet, Fdj, at s.t.
- 1. Bradley WIGGINS, (Great Britain) Team Sky, in 12:57:18
- 2. Cadel EVANS, (Australia) BMC Racing Team, at 1:11
- 3. Janez BRAJKOVIC, (Slovenia) Team RadioShack, at 1:21
- 4. Alexandre VINOKOUROV, (Kazakhstan) Astana, at 1:56
- 5. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, (Portugal) Movistar, at 2:12