Van Aert clinches back to back Dauphine stage victory
Voiron (France) (AFP)
Wout van Aert won a second successive stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Thursday with victory on day five as Britain's Adam Yates remained in the leader's yellow jersey.
Jumbo Visma's van Aert, wearing the green shirt as he sits on top of points leaderboard, repeated his success in Wednesday's individual time trial after 201km of racing that finished in the town of Voiron at the foot of the Alps.
Ireland's Sam Bennett was inches behind 24-year-old van Aert followed by France's Julian Alaphilippe in third.
Yates, who finished second overall at last year's Dauphine, retains his slender four second advantage over Bahrain-Merida's Dylan Teuns in second in the general leaderboard.
Three-time winner Chris Froome was ruled out of the race as well as this year's Tour de France after a high-speed crash on Wednesday and had surgery on fractures to his thigh bone, pelvis, ribs and elbow in a French hospital.
The late breakaway trio of Italy's Alessandro De Marchi and France's Stephane Rossetto and Yoann Bagot were caught by the chasing pack with less than a kilometre to go.
The front of the race, which the three had dominated from the 170km-mark, had originally held a lead of 2min 10sec over the peloton with 80km to go but it was windled down slowly to barely half a minute with 10km remaining.
Friday's sixth and longest stage heads 229km from Saint-Vulbas into the Alps finishing in Saint-Michel-Du-Maurienne and includes a steep climb 7.5km from the finish line.
? 2019 AFP