Fedrigo takes Dauphiné stage six, Valverde retains lead
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Fedrigo takes Dauphiné stage six, Valverde retains lead

by Agence France-Presse at 1:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Critérium du Dauphiné

Spaniard Alejandro Valverde of the Caisse d'Epargne retained his slim 16-second lead over Cadel Evans after the sixth stage of the Dauphine Libere race here on Friday.

Valverde, Evans and 2007 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador crossed the finish line together 4min 12sec after the winner of the gruelling 106km stage from Gap to Briancon, Frenchman Pierrick Fedrigo of the Bouygues team.

"It was a fairly quiet day even though you can never say the climb up the Izoard is easy," Valverde said. "Then Contador attacked towards the end and we had to respond." But the Spanish racer warned Saturday would see some harder action.

"I expect to be under attack. The climb up the Madeleine is very strenuous. Evans and Contador are the most dangerous competitors," he warned.

Fedrigo edged ahead of Belgian Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick-Step) as the leading group closed on the finish line in the narrow streets of Briancon.

The French rider was among front runners who had made it ahead of the pack over the Col d'Izoard, the main challenge on the stage of the race that serves as a key warm-up to the July 4-26 Tour de France.

A group of 14 riders attacked the summit climb some five minutes ahead of the rest, with five riders breaking away to speed down the descent.

"We knew that it would be fast," said the 30-year-old stage winner. "I realised I was running better all the time, then I was able to impose my own rhythm, staying concentrated on the last metres."

It was the first stage win in the Dauphine race for Fedrigo, winner of a Tour de France stage in 2006.

Third on the day was 39-year-old Frenchman Stephane Goubert of the AG2R team.

Saturday's penultimate stage is a tough 157 kilometre mountain route from here to Saint-Francois-Longchamp. The event concludes on Sunday in the Alpine city of Grenoble.

1. Pierrick Fedrigo (FRA/BBO) 2hr 48min 17sec
2. Jurgen Van de Walle (BEL/QST) at 03
3. Stephane Goubert (FRA/ALM) 05
4. Juan Manuel Garate (ESP/RAB) 13
5. Lars Bak (DEN/SAX) 25
6. Alexandre Kuschynski (BLR/LIQ) 2:47
7. Mauro Santambrogio (ITA/LAM) 2:47
8. Bingen Fernandez (ESP/COF) 2:50
9. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/EUS) 3:17
10. Alberto Fernandez de la Puebla (ESP/FUJ) 3:41

14. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 4:12
15. Cadel Evans (AUS/SIL) 4:12
16. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/GCE) 4:12

1. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/GCE) 18hr 15min 46sec
2. Cadel Evans (AUS/SIL) at 0:16.
3. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 1:04.
4. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/EUS) 1:49.
5. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 1:52.
6. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 2:41.
7. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/AST) 2:42.
8. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 2:43.
9. Sylvester Szmyd (POL/LIQ) 3:50.
10. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/SAX) 3:56.


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