Breakaway success as Van Moer stuns peloton at Dauphiné

The opening stage of the 2021 Critérium du Dauphiné was a day where the peloton underestimated the power of the breakaway, with Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) launching to an impressive win in front of the chasing main bunch.

As Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) soloed into Issoire to win the opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, the peloton were left frustrated and wondering how a four-man early break managed to thwart the ambitions of sprinters that targetted the hilly first stage.

The Belgian was part of a four-man escape, joined by Cyril Gautier (B&B Hotels), Patrick Gamper (BORA-hansgrohe) and Ian Garrison (Deceuninck-QuickStep) on the opening stage of the eight-day race. The quartet worked well throughout the stage, but with the peloton looked composed and mostly maintaining a steady pace, it was expected that the four riders would be caught. Van Moer attacked his companions on the pair of climbs on the final lap of the Issoire finishing circuit, leaving them all behind with 16 kilometres left in the race.

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At that point, the peloton was a minute and a half behind and despite efforts from Team BikeExchange and AG2R Citroën in the chase, Van Moer took out a solo win, coming home comfortably in the end 25 seconds ahead of the charging pack. It brought back fresh memories for Van Moer, at Ronde van Limburg last week he was on his way to the win in the final kilometres before being sent the wrong way by a race marshal, but he made the most of his opportunity here.

“Last week I was really disappointed – I did a great solo but had some bad luck," said Van Moer. "Today I wanted to show I can finish it off, and I’m really happy to do it here among all the big names.

“The plan was to be in the break and hope I had some good names with me, then I took all the points for the mountains jersey, then in the end I felt really good and went alone."

"Yesterday we did a recon with the team, so I knew the local lap really well and all of the corners. I also knew the last ten kilometres were almost all downhill until the finish line and that there were some tricky corners, which would make it difficult for the sprint teams to work together. I came here to show myself in one of the stages but to take the yellow jersey… this is just a dream."



Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) led the bunch home for second place with Clément Venturini (AG2R-Citroen) rounding out the podium. Australian Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) sprinted to fifth on the stage for what was his best result on the season to date, and his highest ever finish in a WorldTour race.

It was an easy day for most of the pre-race favourites, but Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) suffered a mechanical problem ahead of the final climbs and trailed in more than four minutes down on the race lead.

Watch Stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné from 2220 AEST on SBS On Demand and SBS VICELAND with tonight's hilly finale more for the proper climbers than the strong sprinters, with a category 2 ascent cresting with seven kilometres remaining in the race.


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3 min read
Published 31 May 2021 at 9:11am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS