The Critérium du Dauphiné delivered its verdict with an overall victory for Richie Porte and a new stroke of brilliance from the Ukrainian Mark Padun, who signed his first two victories on the circuit this weekend.
With Richie Porte for the winner and Geraint Thomas on the podium, the Ineos team has regained control of the Critérium du Dauphiné whose last weekend was marked by the unexpected domination of the Ukrainian Mark Padun on Sunday in the resort. des Gets (Haute-Savoie). At 36, Porte has managed to hook the Dauphiné to a very consistent record in the one-week races (Paris-Nice, Tour de Catalogne, Tour de Romandie, Tour de Suisse). Four years after having had to let victory slip away on the last day of the 2017 edition, when he was attacked by his former team Sky, now Ineos, and in particular Chris Froome with whom he trained regularly.
Back this year in the richest formation of the peloton (beaten in the two previous editions of the Dauphiné), Porte has benefited from its collective strength. In Joux-Plane, the last pass, he let Britons Tao Geoghegan Hart and Geraint Thomas set the pace to discourage rare attacks (Lopez, Haig). The only fear, the fall of Thomas on the descent, less than 10 kilometers from the finish, left him lonely in the group of favorites. For long minutes, he himself had to respond to starts (I. Izagirre, Haig, Lutsenko) before the return of the winner of the Tour de France 2018 put him back in a more comfortable situation.
“I twice finished 2nd in the general classification (2013 and 2017), I also lost the title in the last kilometers in 2017 … so finally winning here … I’m on cloud nine”, responded Porte , which sounded the Australian anthem for the second time in the history of the event. Thirty-six years after Phil Anderson who won in 1985, Porte’s year of birth, became the oldest winner on the charts.
A miracle named Padun
Surrounded on the podium by the Kazakh Alexey Lutsenko (2nd at 17 sec) and by Geraint Thomas (3rd at 29 sec), he fully appreciated his happiness of the day. Without drawing any lessons for the Tour de France (June 26 to July 18), which he finished in third place last year: “I’m not under any illusions about my role during the next Tour. ” For his part, Mark Padun (24) won once again the day after his victorious climb to La Plagne, his second victory on the World Tour circuit. The Ukrainian soared, winged climber, from the first slopes of Joux-Plane, an uncategorized pass of 11.6 kilometers with 8.5% average slope.
Padun, who conquered the polka-dot jersey of the mountain, ridiculed the opposition, in the dynamics of the Bahrain team in full euphoria after his Giro (2nd place for Damiano Caruso): one stage, three second places and the jersey green for the Italian Sonny Colbrelli, 5th place final for the Australian Jack Haig. Present in the breakaway river that started from the start of the stage, the tireless Ukrainian climbed Joux-Plane faster than the favorites supposed to be the best climbers of the lot, in a new upheaval in values. “It’s something incredible!” Said the Ukrainian rightly. Very outgoing in character, he smiled at the TV camera long before the line and then thanked Jesus Christ: “I was in a state of grace!”.