(Grenoble) Jonas Vingegaard crushed the 75th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné, at the end of the 8th and last stage won on Sunday by the Italian Giulio Ciccone in Grenoble, displaying dazzling form three weeks before the Tour de France.
It’s the eleventh success of the season for the Dane, second in the day’s stage, who was full of confidence before defending his crown on the Tour from July 1, notably against his great rival Tadej Pogacar .
“It’s a very big result for me. The Dauphiné is one of the most beautiful races in the world, I am very happy to have been able to win here. I was never alone, my team did a great job all week,” said the man who took second place in the event behind his Slovenian teammate Primoz Roglic last year.
The Jumbo-Visma rider, already winner of the Gran Camino and the Tour of the Basque Country in 2023, flew over the Dauphiné, a traditional dress rehearsal before the Grande Boucle.
Winner of two stages, including the one on Saturday at the top of the Croix-de-Fer pass, he finished 2 min 23 s ahead of Briton Adam Yates in the general classification and 2 min 56 s over Australian Ben O ‘Connor.
On Sunday, he was content to control the race behind the breakaway of the day in which Julian Alaphilippe had taken place, on his 31st birthday.
The Frenchman was only caught at the end of the Col de Portes, the penultimate of the six difficulties, where Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) flew away.
In the terrible final wall (1.8 km at 14.2%) leading to the Bastille, above Grenoble, Vingegaard came out of the group of favorites, but did not manage to catch up with the Italian climber who kept 23 seconds ahead of the line.
“The last 500 meters were terrible, but the crowd pushed me. When I looked behind me, I felt that I had enough of a lead. I’m very happy,” said Ciccone, a three-time Giro d’Italia stage winner.
“It’s a gift for my future wife,” added the Italian who is due to get married next week before racing the Tour de France. This year, he had to give up the Giro due to a positive test for COVID-19.