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Derek Gee wows the cycling world again with Critérium du Dauphiné podium

Derek Gee wows the cycling world again with Critérium du Dauphiné podium

Last May Derek Gee delighted the cycling world with his Giro d’Italia performance: seven breakaways resulting in four runner-up spots, two fourth places and the Combativity award. On Sunday Gee wowed ‘em again after a thrilling concluding day, stepping onto the final podium of the 76th Critérium du Dauphiné with two-time titlist Primož Roglič and runner-up Matteo Jorgenson, the Canadian having won Stage 3.

It’s one of the all-time greatest Canadian performances in the eight major non-Grand Tour stage races. Gee’s podium slots in between Steve Bauer’s 1988 Tour de Suisse runner-up spot and Ryder Hesjedal’s 2006 Volta a Catalunya fourth place. In 2021 Michael Woods came fifth in consecutive major stage races in Switzerland—the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de Suisse.

After Saturday’s penultimate stage, Gee bounded onto the podium at Remco Evenepoel’s expense, the Belgian clearly feeling the effects of Stage 5’s crash. The Canadian trailed Jorgenson by only 11 seconds and had 43 seconds over fourth-place Aleksandr Vlasov.

Gee had one foot on the podium after Saturday’s summit finish. Photo: Sirotti

The Course

Sunday was the third consecutive summit finish, this one the Cat. 1 Col des Glières, 9.3 km of 7.3 gradient at the end of a 160-km day.

A nontet of breakaways hit the foot of Col des Glières with too small of a gap to survive. The first rider to attack from the peloton was Giulio Ciccone, very active in the Dauphiné’s mountains. When seventh-place Laurens De Plus responded in the peloton, Remco Evenepoel was dropped. De Plus brought seven riders, including all the top five, over to Ciccone.

When Carlos Rodriguez attacked with Jorgenson and De Plus, Roglič had trouble responding. Gee made it into the Jorgenson group. Roglič had Ciccone to work with. Gee, Jorgenson and Rodriguez continued their clamber.

Gee leads the group on the final mountain.

With 3 km to go, Roglič was 24 seconds behind, Evenepoel closing in on him. Jorgenson tried to drop Gee and Rodriguez with 2 km remaining. Gee cracked and had to worry about Rodriguez jumping over him onto the peloton. With a kilometre remaining it was desperately close…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…