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Derek Gee claims fourth on Critérium du Dauphiné summit finish, keeps fourth on GC

Derek Gee claims fourth on Critérium du Dauphiné summit finish, keeps fourth on GC

Primož Roglič triumphed on Friday’s first of three consecutive Critérium du Dauphiné summit finish stages, taking the yellow jersey from Remco Evenepoel, who was 33 seconds clear of the Slovenian at the start of the day. The four-time Grand Tour winner now leads the Belgian by 19 seconds. Derek Gee continued to impress: his fourth place ensured that he kept fourth place on GC.

Roglic was the strongest on Friday.

The Course

A Cat. 4 barely inconvenienced anyone in the first quarter of the 174 km from Hauterives to Le Collet d’Allevard, and a sharp Cat. 2 marked the beginning of the final quarter, but Friday was all about the aforementioned d’Allevard, an HC-rated climb 11.2 km in length and an eye-watering 8.4 percent in gradient. The sun was out on Friday.

Although victims of Thursday’s massive crash Evenepoel and Roglič were able to race on, eighth place Juan Ayuso, UAE-Emirates’ GC man, did not start.

Six riders decided to fly their flags in a breakaway. With Evenepoel’s blue-clad Soudal-Quick Step pacing the peloton and Roglič’s green Bora-Hansgrohe gang in Position 2, the six pack of adventurers yanked out a six minute buffer. By the peak of Col du Granier 44 km from the finish line, the gap was 4:00, and two fugitives went into the grassy ditch on the descent.

Ineos took over pacemaking to the foot of the first of two HC summit finish climbs in a row. One by one, the escapees were brought back to the fold, if only briefly. Romain Grégoire, runner-up to Derek Gee on Stage 3, was the last refugee to be sopped up.

Gee was part of the 40-rider group that was left pursuing Grégoire. First 12th place Laurens De Plus surged from the peloton, drawing 11th place Aleksandr Vlasov.

De Plus serves as Vlasov’s shadow as they attack the HC grades.

It was Gee who powered the favourites group. Evenepoel was dropped, prompting Roglič to bridge over to teammate Vlasov and De Plus. Mikel Landa laboured to cut Evenepoel’s losses. Vlasov, Roglič and Giulio Ciccone moved forward, Gee chasing with Matteo Jorgenson and De Plus. The gap was slight between these two groups heading under the red kite. With his yellow jersey in peril, Evenepoel took off solo in pursuit.

The Slovenian passed his teammate but…

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