Race report

Pepijn Reinderink takes 5th in reduced bunch finish after tough day of racing

Alpes Isère Tour

Photo Credit: DirectVelo / Zoé Soullard

The penultimate day of action at Alpes Isère Tour saw the peloton take on the second toughest stage of the week, with roughly 3000 metres of elevation gain throughout the day which included the tough mountain pass of Mont du Faz. It was an attacking start to the day before a break of six went clear, with all of the team’s riders in the bunch, conserving energy for what was to come.

Heading onto the Mont du Faz the breakaway was all but caught as the bunch charged over over the top, with the team well represented towards the front. Unfortunately, Oscar Onley crashed on the descent but he was able to remount and finish the stage okay. Onto the flat, and a group of around 20 forged on with Henri Vandenabeele and Pepijn Reinderink present for the team but a hard chase from a reduced peloton brought them back on the Côte de Varacieux, with Max Poole joining his team mates. Almost immediately though the pace increased yet again and the group thinned down on the climb where Vandenabeele indicated he wasn’t on his best day and had to let go of the wheels.

Despite some late attacks, where Poole and Reinderink were both active, the stage would come down to a reduced sprint finish. After some good work from Poole to set him up, Reinderink delivered a good turn of speed to take fifth place on the stage; moving up to sixth on GC ahead of tomorrow’s brutal mountain test.

“Today we had a semi mountain stage on the menu,” explained Reinderink. “There was a lot of wind so in the beginning there was some nervousness in the peloton. We were together well at the front just in case something happened. The break went and after that it was well controlled until the big climb halfway the stage. Joris, who crashed yesterday and Lorenzo positioned us very well before that climb. The first part of the climb was controlled but after that there were some attacks. Some dangerous riders went so I was chased them in the second part of the climb. In the downhill it unfortunately went wrong for us. Oscar crashed, but luckily he is okay. There were a lot of crashes there, but Henri and me managed to stay safe and ended up in the first group. It was quite a small front group but in the valley another group came back with Max in it. On the next climb Henri said he was not feeling really well and he gave me the green light to go for it. Max and me stayed in the group and I covered the dangerous moves. We also went for a small sprint and Max did a nice pull there so I could pick up two bonus seconds. Five kilometres before the finish I tried to attack, but they did not let me go. In the end it was a fifth place in the sprint. Now, all cards on the table for the big final mountain stage tomorrow.”

Team DSM coach Boris Zimine added: “Our plan was to go for the GC with Henri here. Things started off really well today and everyone was with Henri really well. On the top of the big mountain we still had five guys in front after Joris did great work in the lead out to the climb. Unfortunately, Oscar crashed on the downhill and then Henri let everyone know that he didn’t feel 100 percent. Ten kilometres later he would be dropped but he gave the green light to the other guys to go for it. After the last climbs we had Max and Pepijn in the front group and they did well together, with Pepijn fifth on the stage and also taking some bonus seconds, putting him sixth on GC ahead of tomorrow.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 RETAILLEAU Valentin AG2R Citroën U23 Team 4:17:02 7
2 DE VRIES Hartthijs Metec - SOLARWATT p/b Mantel ,, 3
3 GRÉGOIRE Romain Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ ,, 1