Moncoutie takes Dauphine's stage seven while Valverde fights to keep overall
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Moncoutie takes Dauphine's stage seven while Valverde fights to keep overall

by VeloNation Press at 11:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Critérium du Dauphiné

Spaniard Alejandro Valverde stayed in control of the overall in today's stage seven of the Dauphine Libere today, while Frenchman David Moncoutie (Cofidis) put in an impressive ride coming in to win the stage alone. Forty seconds later Robert Gesink (Rabobank) crossed the line for second place, while Australian Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) capped off his day of attacking with third.

Valverde and Contador, first and third overall respectively, were forced to react to an onslaught of attacks by second placed Evans on the final category 1 climb of the day. Not known as an attacking rider, the Australian left everything out on the road today clearly hurting the Spaniards that surrounded him on the podium in his bid for the race win. A clear indication of the damage done was when Valverde thanked Contador for his help neutralizing Evans as they reached the summit of the final climb. Both riders were clearly relieved and wore the face of their efforts.

"The stage was very difficult," Valverde told AFP. "My team did a fantastic job.

"Evans must have attacked about 15 times during the last climb. I expected it. He is very strong. It was the most important stage."

Heading into the Tour de France Evans looks to already have incredible form, and will need to balance his training to peak at the right time during the Grand Boucle. If nothing else, the Silence-Lotto rider has shown the competition that he will attack and fight until the end to win.

"I have nothing to regret, I did everything," said the Australian to AFP.

"Maybe I'll finish second again. I only hope that it'll work out differently in the Tour de France."

Today Moncoutie bagged his second win of the season, his other being a stage in the Tour of the Mediterranean.

"This was a really prestigious stage win, with the climbs of Galibier, the Croix-de-Fer and the finish at Saint-François-Longchamp," said Moncoutie.

"It was a difficult stage but I like it when it's difficult."

Sunday's final stage will take the race 146km from Faverges to Grenoble, and doesn't have any obstacles that could shake up the general classification.

1. David Moncoutie (FRA/COF) 4hr 44min 26sec
2. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) at 41sec
3. Cadel Evans (AUS/SIL) 41
4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/GCE) 41
5. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/SAX) 53
6. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 55
7. Christophe Le Mevel (FRA/FDJ) at 1min 28sec
8. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 2:19
9. Jurgen van den Broeck (BEL/SIL) 2:25
10. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/EUS) 2:32

1. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/GCE) 23hr 00min 53sec
2. Cadel Evans (AUS/SIL) at 16sec
3. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) at 1min 18sec
4. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 2:41
5. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/EUS) 3:40
6. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/SAX) 4:08
7. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/LIQ) 4:21
8. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/AST) 5:05
9. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 5:28
10. Christophe Le Mevel (FRA/FDJ) 6:19


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