Fuglsang wins Criterium du Dauphine in Tour de France boost
Champery (Switzerland) (AFP)
Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang won the eight-day Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday, the Astana rider underlining his status as one of the favourites for next month's Tour de France.
Ineos rider Dylan van Baarle of the Netherlands won the eighth stage on a day in which Britain's Adam Yates pulled out sick with less then 50km to go while in second place overall.
The 34-year-old Fuglsang has been in hot form this season, winning the Liege-Bastogne-Liege 'monument' (one of the four toughest one day races on the calendar) and getting on the podium in two classics.
"This season everything has gone brilliantly," said the winner.
Fuglsang also won this race in 2017 after overtaking Australia's Richie Porte on the final day.
"This was a much easier final day," said Fuglsang after several climbers had expressed regret at its relative ease.
When asked about his Tour de France chances the Dane said: "Top 5 at least, but we'll target the podium and the win."
He took the overall lead on Saturday on a hilly run contested in a deluge that caused a host of overnight pull outs.
British Tour de France hopeful Adam Yates pulled out sick late during Sunday's stage when still in with a great chance of victory.
Trailing by a mere eight seconds and with less than 50km to go on the eight-day event, seen as a key form gauge for the Tour de France, Yates was keeping pace with his chief rivals when he pulled out.
Mitchelton-Scott sports director Lorenzo Lapage told race organisers Yates had had a fever since this morning.
Wout Van Aert, the 24-year-old triple world cyclo-cross champion won the green sprint points jersey having put himself clearly on the road cycling map and a new name to match at July's Tour de France.
The powerful French roller Julian Alaphilippe won the mountains points jersey for crack Belgian outfit Decueninck-Quick Step having done the same at last year's Tour de France too.
Van Baarle won the closing stage after dropping his final escape group companion Australia's Jack Haig on the final ascent into Champery.
The 12-rider breakaway group was well marshalled by Fuglsang's Astana team and never allowed to build up a great lead.
This Criterium however may end up being best remembered for Chris Froome's serious accident ahead of stage four when he fell at high speed breaking a hip, his leg, an elbow and ribs.
The Criterium winner has gone on to land the Tour de France in five of the past seven years.
? 2019 AFP