Has anything happened in the Critérium du Dauphiné yet?
There’s been one stage. Can we draw any conclusions yet?
The Critérium du Dauphiné doesn’t muck about. It kicked off with a short stage which featured a decent whack of climbing. No-one seemed quite sure whether a breakaway would stick, whether it would be a sprint finish or whether the general classification lads would be battling for the win. In the end, everyone was right and wrong – kind of like life.
Canadian, David “Who?” Veilleux took the win after being the sole survivor of the day’s break. By that, I mean that he was the only one who remained ahead of the peloton until the end. There wasn’t a sniper picking off rouleurs from a mountaintop vantage point. Veilleux pedals forcefully and inefficiently as if trying to dislodge some clingfilm adhered to his barse using saddle friction alone.
After Veilleux, we had two riders who cope with climbs and who can also sprint – Gianni Meersman and Tom-Jelte Slagter – and then we had the GC lads.
So far, so inconclusive. But let’s have a look at the other end of the race. Did any Tour de France contenders have a bad day?
Andrew Talansky lost eight minutes, but apparently he’s ill so we can’t read too much into this. He’s not a major player either and didn’t make my long list of Tour challengers which I’m yet to publish.
Thomas De Gendt does get a mention in that article, however, and he lost 14 minutes for no clear reason. This doesn’t bode well, but I’m not going to delete what I wrote. That would be like deleting the 30 or 40 seconds of my life I spent crafting the sentence in question and I simply don’t want to do that.
Update: Both Talansky and De Gendt have now dropped out of the race. Still no word on the reasons for De Gendt’s poor performance.