As it happened: a mass uphill dash concludes Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 3 of the 2024 Critérium du Dauphiné.

One non-starter today so far: Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious), the 2024 Giro d’Italia’s Best Young Rider and fifth overall.  As of Tuesday evening, Tiberi was lying nearly 15 minutes down on GC in 135th. The team are citing fatigue.

Here’s a quick glance at the results as they stood after Monday’s stage 2, courtesy of our colleagues at FirstCycling

Today’s stage 3 is another hilly affair, this time featuring nearly 3,000 metres of vertical climb. It’s the most the Dauphiné riders have had to face so far in this race, though, nothing compared to the Alpine challenges they’ll be tackling from Friday onwards.

Riders are currently moving through the neutralised section, it’s 4.3 kilometres long. Kick-off in just a few minutes.

Weather is cloudy and overcast, but not too cold, just 18 degrees Celsius. 

And racing is underway. Only 181.7 kilometers to go.

 The key points on today’s menu

Km 22.1: Climb: Cat.4 –  Côte de Augerolles (2.4km at 5.7%)

Six riders try to get away on the first uncategorized uphill, but without success.

Stage 1 winner Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) tries to get away, without success, then allrounder Dorion Godon (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale), already the winner of two stages in Romandie this year, attempts a move. But that doesn’t stick, either.

Whilst we’re waiting for something of note to happen, here’s a nice picture of Pedersen and race leader Magnus Cort (Uno-X Mobility) having a natter at the stage start.

The 2024 Dauphiné been a solidly Danish affair so far this year, with two wins out of two courtesy of Pedersen and Cort. Will that change today?

163 kilometres to go

We are now on the lower slopes of the first of five classified climbs of the day, the  Cat.4  Côte de Augerolles (2.4km at 5.7%). And Darren Rafferty (EF Education-EasyPost) is narrowly off the front.

Rafferty is superceded by Frenchman Nicolas Prodhomme (Decathlon Ag2R La Mondiale), who reaches the top of the Augerolles to take the sole KoM point on offer. After which, the bunch regroups.

150 kilometres to go

And finally a break gets over 30 seconds. After 35 kilometres of racing, Nicolas Prodhomme (Decathlon-Ag2R), Rémy Rochas (Groupama-FDJ) and Harrison Sweeny (EF Education-Easypost) open up a gap. Average race speed for now is an ultra-brisk 48 kmh.

Overall Prodhomme is definitely the danger man of the three, he’s just 10 seconds back on race leader Magnus Cort (Uno-X Mobility) on GC. Sweeny is at 2:54 and Rochas more than six minutes down.

Crash for Primož Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe), one of the top race favourites, according to the official race website. He’s needed a new bike, but his teammates are guiding him back to the peloton.

Meanwhile the trio’s gap has opened up to 1:30.

Roglič’s early misfortune comes in his first race back from his crash in Itzulia. He also placed a promising second on Monday’s uphill finish at Col de la Loge.

Primož Roglič shows his Critérium du Dauphiné ambitions despite long absence from racing

132 kilometres to go

A first shot of the day’s break

Unconfirmed reports that Roglic fell to the ground but was back up pretty quickly after his crash, which apparently involved several riders. He was lucky in that the break had just gone so the pace in the peloton, after that frantic start, had slowed notably. Either we’ll bring you more news as it comes through.

A shot of Roglic back in the CdD bunch, taken by ASO’s Seb Piquet. Ripped race number but no other visible signs of the fall from this angle.

121 kilometres to go

Ten kilometres further on, and the break is still at around three minutes.

Curious fact: if any of the three riders in the break – the youngest of whom is Sweeny, 25 – gets to stay away, it’ll be their first pro win. Sweeny’s highest profile result to date was third off a break in a Tour de France transition stage back in 2021, Rochas placed second overall in the Tour de Guangxi last year, and Prodhomme has a sixth and a fifth respectively in the Tour du Doubs and Clásica Jáen one-day races this year.

The one sprint of the day at Arlanc and Prodhomme gets a 3 second time bonus for first, Rochas takes second, Sweeny third.

We’re fast approaching the toughest climb of the day, the Cat.2  Côte de Saint-Victor-sur-Arlanc (3.1km at 9.4%), which peaks out with 94 kilometres to go.

A shot of the race leader. The early cloud seems to have lifted completely, which nobody will be complaining about.

The trio’s lead has shrunk by 30 seconds on the toughest climb of the stage, with an average gradient of just over 9%.

Results for the Cote de St Victor sur Arlanc climb
1. Rochas 5 points
2. Sweeny 3 points
3. Prodhomme 2 points
And Mathis Le Berré (Arkea-B&B Hotels), currently heading the mountains, classification, shoots ahead of the bunch to pick up  fourth place and the one remaining point.

90 kilometres to go

Uno-X Mobility have upped the pace notably in the peloton, maybe because now the toughest climb of the day is done and dusted and the risk of any domestiques getting dropped is reduced. But that’s just a theory. 

One rider who has decided to throw in the towel, though, is young sprinter Lars Boven (Alpecin-Deceuninck). Boven had been in difficulties almost since the stage began, and the 22-year-old has now opted to abandon.

Still to come…

His stage win last year in the Dauphiné was one of the race highlights for local fans, but the charismatic Soudal-QuickStep leader was never down to take part this time round after his highly successful Giro d’Italia, and now it looks very likely he won’t be back at the Tour de France either. Cyclingnews’ Barry Ryan has more here:

Julian Alaphilippe to miss Tour de France and focus on Paris 2024 Olympics

80 kilometres to go

Ineos Grenadiers have added their support to the Uno-X Mobility-led chase

A generic shot of the Critérium du Dauphiné peloton midway through stage 3

The gap is steadying again at around 2:30 as we head towards the last three climbs of the day.

The foot of the third of the day’s five classified climbs is fast approaching for the breakaway: Cat.3 – Côte de Retournac (3.2km at 5.4%) 

59 kilometres to go

A steady but not overly fast pace for the peloton sees the gap on the climb come down to just under two minutes.

Uno-X have four riders ahead of their race leader Magnus Cort as the peloton reaches the upper slopes of the Côte de Retournac. 

Rochas claims maximum points at the summit of the Côte de Retournac ahead of Prodhomme and Sweeny with minimal opposition from his two breakaway companions, content to simply follow him across the top of the climb. 

Speaking before the start, Magnus Cort has just confirmed on Eurosport that he’d like to try to go for a second stage win today. The finish is certainly a similar one to Monday’s, even if the run-in is not so tough.

50 kilometres to go

A shot of Primož Roglič, where you can see some more consequences of his crash on his left side.

Mechanical for Cofidis’ rookie pro Oliver Knight. But it’s sorted and he’s quickly heading back to the peloton. 

4%, 5%, 4%…there’s a long, uneven grind now for the race up to foot of the second-last climb of the stage, the Cat.4  Côte de Valogeon (2km at 5.2%). Of the 3,000 metres of vertical climbing in today’s stage, we’ve still got nearly 1,000 left and we’re all but into the last 40 kilometres. 

Four new bikes, two new wheelsets, fresh custom paint, tyre nerdery, and much more besides: Biggest ever tech gallery from the Critérium du Dauphiné

42 kilometres to go

Jayco-AIUIa’s Chris Juul-Jensen fires himself out of the left-hand side of the pack and has gone on the hunt for the break.

Next up the road is France’s Valentin Madouas, keen to show off his National Champion’s jersey in the last few weeks before he has to fight for it again.

Christopher Juul Jensen (Jayco-AIUIa) is close to reaching the three ahead – Nicolas Prodhomme (Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale), Remi Rochas (Groupama-FDJ) and Harry Sweeny (EF Education-Easy Post).

Juul Jensen makes it to the three ahead, but Madouas looking as if he is going to be caught by the bunch.

We’re now onto the fourth of the five classified climbs of the day, the cat. 4  Côte de Valogeon. 

Madouas is not giving up though, and he’s about 25 seconds back on the four ahead.

Rochas leads over the summit of the Côte de Valogeon for the lone point on offer.

32 kilometres to go

Nicolas Prodhomme (Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale)

At 27 seconds:

Madouas forges on determinedly, but the gap between the four riders ahead is widening again and his advantage on the peloton is narrowing…

30 kilometres to go

No classified climbs left apart from the last one now with the finish at the top: Km 181.6: Cat.3 – Côte des Estables (3km at 5.2%).

Crash with around four riders down towards the back of the peloton as they speed over a small bridge: Chris Harper (Jayco-AUIAa) amongst those affected, but he’s back up again.

Meanwhile Uno-X and UAE Team Emirates are adding an extra notch of pressure at the front of the peloton.

Three teammates waiting for Chris Harper to tow him back up to the peloton.

Harper and his teammates are chasing hard, but he’s still got a gap of 40 seconds to get back to the peloton.

Race website has said that all the riders involved in the crash affecting Harper are back up and racing again.

UAE, INeos and Uno-X are all chasing hard to catch the break.

Rochas, one of the three original members of the break, has sat up. The other three (Prodhomme, Sweeny, Juul Jensen) now only have 45 seconds advantage.

A recent shot of the break with Juul Jensen now replacing Rochas on the move

Harper, incidentally, has made it back into the bunch.

20 kilometres to go

Reports of a late abandon: Adrien Petit (Intermarché-Wanty).

Juul Jensen has visibly reboosted things for the breakaway, and is driving hard on the front.

A small detachment of Lidl-Trek riders are on the front side of the peloton, and helping keep the pace relatively high. Still a lot of riders in the main bunch despite all the climbing today. 

A plateau and then a long undulating descent now precedes the final climb, the 3.8 kilometre Cat.3 Côte des Estables. 

A big effort from Nils Politt (UAE Team Emirates) is making serious inroads on the break’s advantage, which shrinks to just 40 seconds.

12 kilometres to go

A fast, twisting downhill and the peloton can see the three riders ahead.

Mechanical for Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious).

Seven kilometres to go

A determined effort from Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) on the front of the lined-out bunch.

Ineos move into the front as the road begins to kick upwards for one last time.

Ar0und 70 riders still in the front group, but numerous riders in difficulty at the back.

The bunch is just a few hundred metres behind the three rider break as the climb, a broad, draggy affair, continues to kick upwards.

Ineos, Jumbo and UAE are closing in on the three riders ahead, who still have a 23 second advantage as the official foot of the final ascent approaches.

Onto the final climb: the Cat.3  Côte des Estables, 3.8 km at 5.2%

Ineos form a mass of black and red jerseys on the left hand side of the reduced peloton.

Three kilometres to go

Chris Froome is dropped.

Break caught with 2.6 kilometres to go and a new race begins. 

A brief lull in the action from the bunch now the break is caught, but the pace is high.

The breakaway riders are all dropped from the bunch, which remains together with two kilometres to go.

Soudal-QuickStep are making their presence known at the front for Remco Evenepoel, and Primoz Roglic visible in the middle of the pack.

Magnus Cort is still up there, so his chances of a second stage win remain intact

1 kilometre to go.

Kwiatkowski and Bora-Hansgrohe still powering on the front.

Bora_Hansgrohe’s Matteo Sobrero chases down an Israel rider who attempts to go clear

Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) makes a move with 400 metres to go, and then Romain Gregoire comes round for Groupama-FDJ.

But Gee then comes round again and takes the stage.

Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) wins stage 3 of the 2024 Critérium du Dauphiné 

That was a stunning battle with Grégoire, who responded well to Gee and initially got past him, but just didn’t have enough fuel left in the tank to stay ahead of the Canadian.

Third was Lukas Nerurkar (Education First-Easy Post), three seconds back, a gap which, if confirmed, could allow Gee to get the lead as well.

Gee is the new leader according to the provisional GC classifications, ahead of stage 2 winner and previous yellow jersey Magnus Cort (Uno-X Mobility) with Romain Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ) in third. 

Some first words from Gee: “It’s definitely a different level, unbelievably special to win here. I’ve been waiting for a win in Europe, I’ve come second enough times and it’s really nice to finish it off.”
“A massive part of it was Krists [Neilands-teammate] attacking with a kilometre to go, I was in good position and he just strung it out.As soon as he came back, I wasn’t planning on going there, but there was kind of a lull when Krists came back, so I had to take advantage of it.”

And here’s a first shot of the winner

A 50-strong chase group is timed at 3 seconds with all the top favourites present. So they’ll be well-positioned to try for the leader’s jersey in Wednesday’s crucial time trial.

A shot of  Primož Roglič  crossing the line in tenth place. Thanks to his time bonus from stage 2, he’s the best placed of the pre-race favourites for the TT, in fourth., which will be handy for time references. But after three stages, the gaps between the top names are minimal.

Regarding the secondary classifications, Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) has ousted Magnus Cort from top spot in the points rankings, while Mathis Le Berre (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) remains top mountains rider. Romain Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ), second on the stage, has taken over from Matteo Jorgenson (Visma-Lease A Bike) in the BYR rankings, and Movistar are, for the second running, rated Best Team. 

Cyclingnews full report of today’s stage, complete with results, a photo gallery and analysis is here:
Derek Gee produces late surge to win Critérium du Dauphiné stage 3

So what’s the next stage like?

Stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné is the classic mid-week time trial which should see the first major differences emerge on GC. 34.4 kilometres long and running between Saint-Germain-Laval and Neulise. It’s essentially a rolling course, with a fair amount of draggy uphill and a 5.5%  500-metres-long ramp to conclude the day. Last year’s winner and former U-23 World TT Champ Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) is not here, but there are plenty of top time triallists and/or GC contenders who should impact on Wednesday’s stage. Amongst them Derek Gee, the current Canadian national TT champion for the second year running, will surely make an all-out effort to defend his top spot overall.

That just about wraps it up for the live coverage of the Critérium du Dauphiné stage 3. We’ll be back with more coverage of stage 4, but meanwhile check out the website for more updates, information and analysis throughout the evening.

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