Race report

Kevin Vermaerke 15th on punchy finale, Ilan Van Wilder holds on to the white jersey

Critérium du Dauphiné

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

With yesterday’s time trial behind them, the peloton were once again racing on open roads for a tricky 175 kilometre long stage from Saint-Chamond to Saint-Vallier, which featured a short but steep climb in the finale.

It was a fast start to the day on the opening climb, where a strong five rider breakaway went clear that included the third placed rider on GC. As a result the peloton didn’t allow their gap to grow our any further than two minutes, making it a hard stage.

With the gap coming down, three more riders bridged to those ahead, meaning the pace stayed high for the opening 100 kilometres. Unfortunately, there was a crash in the bunch which Martin Salmon and white jersey wearer Ilan Van Wilder were caught up in but both were able to get back on their bikes and return to the peloton okay. The pace remained high and with 40 kilometres to go the race was all back together. After a flurry of attacks, where Chad Haga was present for the team, one solo rider hit out and built up an advantage of over one minute before the peloton started to pull.

Everything came back together for the final steep climb with the team riding well as a unit as the gradient pinched, with Van Wilder, Kevin Vermaerke, Marco Brenner and Felix Gall making it into the reduced 50 rider peloton. Despite some attacks towards the top of the ascent, the reduced bunch was together under the flamme rouge where the stage winning attack by Thomas was made. Vermaerke gave it his all in the fast and slightly uphill kick to the line, finishing the stage in a solid 15th place for the team. Crossing the line in the peloton, Van Wilder will wear the white jersey as best young rider yet again tomorrow for the team, as the race heads into the mountains and an uphill finish at Le Sappey-en-Chartreuse.

“Today the plan was to go for Ilan and I in the final,” explained Vermaerke at the finish. “It was a really hard start to the stage and it ended up being pretty aggressive racing all day; I think it was the hardest day of racing at the Dauphiné so far. In the final I wasn’t sure if I would make it over the climb but in the end it was Ilan, Marco, Felix and I all going over the top together. From the top it was about ten kilometres of fast and technical downhill into the finish. It was a bit chaotic and a bit hard to find each other and communicate but I think in the end we did the best we could. The main thing is that Ilan stayed safe and kept the white jersey and we’ll look to continue to support him as best we can in the coming days.”

Team DSM coach Wilbert Broekhuizen added: “It was once again a pretty hectic day, with five strong guys out front so the pace was really high in the peloton. A group of three riders tried to bridge to them and we almost got Felix into that group but we just missed the move. The pace was then high for the rest of the stage with the tailwind. It was big fight into the final climb where we improved a bit with our positioning and staying together as a group which was good. It was quite a hectic final so there are some more things that we can learn from and we’re looking forward to the mountains in the next stages.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 THOMAS Geraint INEOS Grenadiers 4:02:15 60
2 COLBRELLI Sonny Bahrain - Victorious ,, 25
3 ARANBURU Alex Astana - Premier Tech ,, 10
15 VERMAERKE Kevin Team DSM ,, -
22 VAN WILDER Ilan Team DSM ,, -
25 BRENNER Marco Team DSM ,, -
36 GALL Felix Team DSM ,, -
63 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 1:19 -
67 HAGA Chad Team DSM 2:08 -
137 SALMON Martin Team DSM 15:47 -