Criterium du Dauphine – Stage one: Aurillac – Jussac, 142km

Chris Froome and Team INEOS safely negotiated a tricky opening stage at the Criterium du Dauphine on a day for the sprinters.
 
Michal Kwiatkowski was the team’s best-placed rider in a reduced bunch finish, crossing the line 10th after the race had become stretched on the final climb.
 
Targeting a fourth victory in the prestigious race, Froome was well protected throughout the short, sharp test and looked comfortable as the pace shot up on the Cote de Roquenatou. 
 
In the end the race came back together on the run-in, with a late break reeled in ahead of a sprint finish – won by Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data). 
 
Kwiatkowski, Froome, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels and Dylan van Baarle all finished in the lead group, with Ian Stannard and Vasil Kiryienka getting through some key work across the 142 kilometres.
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Michal Kwiatkowski

Michal Kwiatkowski

We did the recon of the final climb yesterday so we knew it was going to be a pretty tough climb, and combined with the weather conditions and slippery roads we knew it could be hectic.
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- Michal Kwiatkowski

"Everybody was on it today. We knew, considering the names we had up in the breakaway, that it wouldn't necessarily be a typical day for the sprinters. That was a pretty strong group to chase back.

"We did the recon of the final climb yesterday so we knew it was going to be a pretty tough climb, and combined with the weather conditions and slippery roads we knew it could be hectic. So it was about staying out of trouble all day. Stannard just kept us in the right place heading on to the last climb. Kiry and everybody were there and we were never really in trouble. We came here to find our legs and we have the motivation to ride well on the GC. That was the main objective today so we’re happy about that.

“Quick-Step went pretty hard on the climb considering there was still a long way to go. It was a brave attack, but you never really know. The guys put us in the right place, directly on the wheel of Alaphilippe. It was a pretty good test after a few weeks off the bike. I mainly came here to prepare for the Tour. I suppose there will be some good days and some bad days. But my main objective is to look at what is coming in four weeks, look forward and see what there is up the road.”
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What's Next?

Another lumpy day awaits the riders on stage two, with eight categorised climbs on the road to Craponne-sur-Arzon. The final climb should provide a great launchpad for attacks, and although the riders will take on mountains later in the race this could prove to be an intriguing test.

Stage one result:

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) 3:24:33
2. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) s.t.
3. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
4. Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin)
5. Gregor Muhlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
10. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team INEOS)
33. Chris Froome (Team INEOS)

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