Critérium du Dauphiné: Vogondy leads the French charge in stage four, Brajkovic defends lead
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Critérium du Dauphiné: Vogondy leads the French charge in stage four, Brajkovic defends lead

by VeloNation Press at 12:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Critérium du Dauphiné
 

Nicolas VogondyBbox Bouygues Telecom's Nicolas Vogandy won the 212 kilometer third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné today with a well-timed attack on the climb to Risoul just under 2 kilometers from the finish.  The Frenchman was soon followed by young compatriot Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi) who held on for second place, with race leader Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) powering in for third with Alberto Contador (Astana) just behind.

Brajkovic nearly doubled his advantage in the race for the overall by the end of the day, while HTC-Columbia prodigy Tejay Van Garderen did enough to move up a slot to second place, 1 minute and 15 seconds off the pace.  David Millar took the biggest hit today, dropping from second overall to fourth, nearly two minutes behind the Slovenian.  Former race leader Contador held his ground on the road and moved up to third.

The early move goes clear

The stage set off from Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux today under warm sunny skies with the Dauphiné’s first mountain test on the horizon.  Thirty kilometers into the race a two-man break formed with Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions) and Stefan Denifl (Cervélo TestTeam).  The pair was allowed to build up a substantial lead and had more than 8 minutes with 100 kilometers remaining.  55 kilometers later the break still had close to 7 minutes in hand.

As the break ticked off the kilometers the RadioShack team began to give chase and was joined by Rabobank and Liqugas.  The pair reached the final climb with more than three and a half minutes in hand, while the RadioShack led peloton began to pick up the pace.  The chase quickly began to eat into the advantage of the two breakaways as Team Sky also moved to the front of the race.

With 11.5 kilometers remaining the gap had plummeted down to 2 minutes and 12 seconds as Denifl road away from his American companion.  RadioShack worked their way back to the head of the peloton just as Laurent Lefevere (Bbox-Bouygues Telecom) attacked with just over 10 kilometers remaining.   Ivan Santaromita (Liquigas) tried to make it onto the Frenchman’s wheel, but couldn’t bridge the gap.  The Cervélo rider continued to ride at a good clip and maintained his gap of 2 minutes, while behind Chris Horner worked well on the chase for teammate and race leader Janez Brajkovic.

Everyone gets down to business

At the 7.2 kilometer mark Artem Ovechkin (Katusha) and Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) jumped away from the peloton, but the latter couldn't get beyond noman's land, with teammate Ivan Velasco countering his catch 3 kilometers later.  Ahead the four riders battled the headwinds separately as the weather worked to discourage more attacks from behind.  Denifl had a minute and a half with 5.5 kilometers remaining, but was beginning to show the signs of his efforts.

Menchov made his bid for the win at the 3.5 kilometer mark with Cervélo’s Oscar Pujol tacked onto his wheel.  The pair quickly passed the Spaniard while the Astana team moved to the front en mass to ride for their captain Alberto Contador.  Ahead Denifl was losing ground fast as the pace of the Kazakh team worked to split the front group apart as they reeled back the Russian.   With just over 2 kilometers remaining Contador erased the leader’s advantage with an attack and was quickly marked by the yellow jersey of Brajkovic.  Half a kilometer later Vogondy jumped clear with Contador taking up the chase.  Sicard was the next to go, and the 22 year old got a gap quickly with both Frenchmen holding their own to the line for the top two places.  Behind Brajkovic tried to shake Contador, but the Spaniard was too strong and was able to hold his wheel to the line.

Tomorrow’s stage five will see the peloton travel 214 kilometers from Serre-Chevalier to Grenoble.  The day is bookended with mountains starting with the category two Col du Lautaret right out of the gate, and ending with a rapid descent of the Hors Category Chamrousse.

Critérium du Dauphiné stage four results:
1. Nicolas Vogondy (FRA) Bbox-Bouygues 6hr 03min 25sec
2. Romain Sicard (FRA/EUS) at 12sec
3. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/RSH) 15
4. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) s.t.
5. Rein Taaramae (EST/COF) 18
6. Pierre Rolland (FRA/BTL) s.t.
7. Jurgen van den Broeck (BEL/OLO) s.t.
8. Eros Capecchi (ITA/FOT) s.t.
9. Remi Pauriol (FRA/COF) 23
10. Denis Menchov (RUS/RAB) s.t.

Selected:
15. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/THR) 40
  
General classification after stage four:
1. Janez Brajkovic (SLO) RadioShack) 16hr 25min 44sec
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/THR) 1min 15sec
3. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 1:41
4. David Millar (GBR/GRM) 1:56
5. Nicolas Vogondy (FRA/BTL) 2:43
6. Denis Menchov (RUS/RAB) 2:55
7. Jurgen van den Broeck (BEL/OLO) 3:06
8. Christian Knees (GER/MRM) 3:10
9. Reine Taaramae (EST/COF) 3:28
10. Gorka Verdugo (ESP/EUS) 3:29

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