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Mads Pedersen seizes first Critérium du Dauphiné yellow jersey

Mads Pedersen seizes first Critérium du Dauphiné yellow jersey

Mads Pedersen was the fastest man in the bunch sprint in Sunday’s first stage of the 76th Critérium du Dauphiné, a crucial tune up for Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič before the Tour de France. The Dane from Lidl-Trek adds the victory to his March Gent-Wevelgem triumph. Derek Gee was the top Canadian in 17th.

The Course

After three categorized climbs in the first 50 kilometres, the route settled into a lumpy pattern. In the finale, the riders had two laps of a 29.4-km circuit around Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, each with a little ascent. It was a chilly day that called for jackets, arm warmers and gilets.

At first there was only one rider, Briton Mark Donovan of Q36.5, in a solo breakaway, but eventually Mathis Le Berre joined him. Donovan secured the maximum KOM points over a Cat. 4 and two Cat. 3 climbs to wear the first mountains jersey at the end of the day.

The intrepid duo entered the two circuits with a 3:15 advantage. Lidl-Trek and Decathlon-AG2R were the teams prominent at the front of the peloton. By the start of the final lap, the gap was 1:10.

The catch came with 16 km remaining.

Le Berre (left) and Donovan submit to the will of the peloton.

The teams jockeyed for position in the fast run in. Lidl-Trek led under the red kite.

South African Ryan Gibbons led it out for Pedersen. Sam Bennett tried to come around him on the left but couldn’t match the Dane’s speed.

Monday is the first uphill finish.

2024 Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1
1) Mads Pedersen (Denmark/Lidl-Trek) 4:01:30
2) Sam Bennett (Ireland/Decathlon-AG2R) s.t.
3) Hugo Page (France/Intermarché-Wanty) s.t.
17) Derek Gee (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) s.t.
26) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) s.t.

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