Team Sunweb's Phil Bauhaus took his first WorldTour win of his career on stage five of the Critérium du Dauphiné
The little-known German, who only counted four professional wins before today’s 175km stage from la Tour-de-Salvagny to Mâcon, won by half-a-bike length from Arnaud Démare (FDJ).
Despite a technical final six kilometres, the fast men all contested the sprint on the finishing straight and Bauhaus came from deep, holding off the challenge of Démare and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)
It is Bauhaus’ first WorldTour win and continues his good form this week having finished fifth on stage two and tenth the day after.
There was, as expected, no shake-up in the general classification and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) leads Richie Porte (BMC Racing) by 27 seconds ahead of the mountainous final three days.
How it happened
With six classified climbs and 11 mountain points on the menu, it was unsurprising that Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo) – the incumbent polka dot jersey wearer – picked up one point on the first of them which came after just 1.5km. Race leader De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) collected two.
After 15km, a break of four was established and Bouwman was part of it for the third time in this year’s edition. Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac), Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Julien El Farès (Delko Marseille) were the other riders.
With this being the final day for the fast men, the sprinters teams were reluctant to allow a repeat of stage three when they allowed Bouwman to from the breakaway. As a consequence, the maximum lead was just over five minutes.
Bouwman was the first to be reigned in by the peloton, and with 22km to go, the remaining three riders had less than a minute.
At 17km to go, El Farès was distanced by his breakaway companions; van Baarle, meanwhile, then clipped away from Minnaard and went solo. He had a 40 second lead at first but that came down quickly, and with 6.1km to the finishing line, he was caught.
Team Sky hit the front of the peloton, sharing duties with Katusha and Bahrain-Merida, on the final false flat.
The run-in was a sketchy affair with a number of roundabouts and turns. At 3km to go, Katusha continued at the front as the general classification teams sat up, safe in the knowledge there would be no time losses for their leaders.
Bahrain-Merida and Katusha led going with 1,500m remaining, while the green jersey of Arnaud Démare (FDJ) was about 10 riders back.
Alexandre Kristoff’s Katusha led with 300m to go but he was forced to begin his acceleration at the front and a longer way out than most.
Bauhaus, without support from his teammates, came from deep, rounded Ben Swift (Bahrain-Merida) on the left and then darted through the middle.
Démare found himself boxed in behind Bauhaus and to his left the surging sprint of Coquard. Bauhaus impressively maintained his pace as Démare closed in, but the French sprinter was unable to nudge ahead of the German. Démare was seen congratulating Bauhaus immediately after the finish line.
The race resumes tomorrow with a 145.5km stage from Parc des Oiseaux to Villars-les-Dombes that features the HC categorised climb of Mont du Chat 15.5km from the end.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2017, stage five: La Tour-de-Salvagny to Mâcon (175km)
1 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb, in 04-04-32
2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
4 Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
5 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
7 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
9 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
10 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale, all same time
Overall classification after stage five
1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal, in 17-10-25
2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team, at 27s
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team, at 51s
4 Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo, at 55s
5 Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-02
6 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at 1-04
7 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team, at 1-12
8 Jesus Herrada (Esp) Movistar Team, at 1-15
9 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 1-17
10 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Emirates, at 1-22