Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5: De La Cruz Top 25, Serry Joins Breakaway in the High Mountains
Etixx - Quick-Step rider David De La Cruz finished 24th (+2'02") in a difficult, 161km Stage 5 of Critérium du Dauphiné on Thursday. De La Cruz maintained contact with a drastically reduced peloton in the high mountains, as the group became smaller kilometer-by-kilometer due to a high tempo set by Team Sky.
Pieter Serry also entered the original seven-rider breakaway of the day, which was down to four with 29.4km to go, and the gap at 2 minutes and 36 seconds. Sky upped the pace shortly after, and the breakaway was brought back with 24km remaining.
Romain Bardet (AG2R - La Mondiale) went on to win the stage solo after attacking ahead of the Category 1 Col d'Allos (14km, 5.5% average gradient) KOM with about 22 kilometers remaining. He expanded his gap to about a minute and a half thanks to aggressive descending. The gap was still 1'24" with 3.1km to go. Chris Froome (Team Sky) decided to try and chase alone with 1.5km left to race, and only Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) and Benat Intxausti (Movistar) were able to chase. Despite the effort of Froome to close the gap, Bardet won. It would be van Garderen who finished 2nd, as he passed Froome before the line to also take over the race lead.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to Stage 6, which is deceptively challenging in that there are six categorized climbs, including a Category 3 summit finale in Villard-De-Lans (Cote 2000, 2.2km at 6.2% average gradient).