Mark Padun doubles up at Dauphiné
Only one day after winning the Queen’s stage, Mark Padun doubled up and also won the conclusive stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné - this time attacking from a breakaway. On his way to this stage win Team Bahrain Victorious’s Ukrainian rider also collected plenty of points to win the KOM standings. Jack Haig finished the race in 5th overall, and Sonny Colbrelli won the Green points jersey.
From the perspective of Team Bahrain Victorious, the Critérium du Dauphiné stage race already was a full success before the conclusive stage. After all the team had already got to celebrate two stage wins, with its sprinter Sonny Colbrelli having already secured the Green points jersey and Jack Haig being in 5th in the overall standings, only 15 seconds off the podium. With an aggregate of 4190 meters of climbing and no less than six categorised climbs, the conclusive stage to Les Gets presented one last formidable challenge for all riders still in the race. At the same time there were heaps of KOM points up for grabs along the route. For this reason Mark Padun was tasked to make it into the day’s breakaway in a bid to gather enough KOM points to win the climber’s jersey. After scoring the full points atop the Col de la Colombière climb, The Ukrainian took over the lead in the KOM standings.
But with the Col du Joux Plane the hardest climb of the day was still to come. The group of the overall contenders tackled this hors category climb with a deficit of just a bit over 2 minutes to the breakaway. At the foot of the climb Jack Haig could still rely on the support of Dylan Teuns and Santiago Buitrago. Further up the road Mark Padun again proved to be the best climber, this time of the breakaway. Setting a fast pace from the very start of the climb, he soon left his companions behind. From there Mark Padun managed to extend his lead bit by bit, profiting from the fact that the overall contenders kept back with their attacks for a long time. By scoring the full KOM points atop the Joux Plane, Padun sealed his win in the KOM standings. Further back both Kruijswijk and Quintana were brought back and dropped after early attacks while Miguel Angel Lopez also failed to drop his rivals. Jack Haig on the other hand managed to create a small gap with a late attack just before the summit of the pass, forcing the group of overall contenders to split.
At this moment Mark Padun was already descending towards Morzine, and from there all that remained were a few kilometers and a moderate climb to Les Gets. As the deficit of the group of overall contenders was too big, Mark Padun got the green light to go for the stage win - his second stage win at the Critérium du Dauphiné in as many days and the third stage win for Team Bahrain Victorious in the race. Meanwhile Jack Haig kept pushing the pace in his chasing group and forced Geraint Thomas into a mistake in the descent. But on the final uphill stretch to Les Gets the split was mended and all overall contenders were back together. As a consequence the overall standings remained largely unchanged, and Jack Haig finished the race in 5th. Sonny Colbrelli managed his power well in this hard stage, staying well within the time limit and this winning the Green points jersey.
At the opening time trial of this year's Tour de Suisse, Team Bahrain Victorious had less reasons to celebrate. The 11 kilometer course around the city of Frauenfeld was quite technical as such, and rain made for wet roads and even more treacherous conditions. Seen these circumstances the riders in Red and Black did not risk it all. As a consequence, Gino Mäder clocked the fastest time of the team at 12.41 minutes. As the team's designated captain, Wout Poels conceded another 30 seconds to the fastest time of the day.
73RD CRITÉRIUM DU DAUPHINÉ
STAGE 8: LA LÉCHÈRE-LES-BAINS - LES GETS, 147KM
1. Mark Padun, UKR/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, in 4:06.49 hours
2. Jonas Vingegaard, DEN, + 1.36
3. Patrick Konrad, AUT, st
KOM CLASSIFICATION, FINAL STANDINGS:
1. Mark Padun, UKR/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, 50 points
2. Lawson Craddock, USA, 33 points
3. Michael Valgren, DEN, 26 points
POINTS CLASSIFICATION, FINAL STANDINGS:
1. Sonny Colbrelli, ITA/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, 91 points
2. Kasper Asgreen, DEN, 58 points
3. Alex Aranburu, ESP, 58 points