Jonas Vingegaard sweeps into yellow with solo win on Critérium du Dauphiné stage five

Dane also paid emotional tribute to those hurt in Annecy knife attack as he takes the overall lead with an impressive stage win

Criterium du Dauphine
(Image credit: Dario Belingheri / Getty Images)

Jonas Vingegaard showed that he is knocking on the door of peak condition for next month's Tour de France, as he cruised into yellow at Critérium du Dauphiné with an impressive solo win on stage five.

The Jumbo-Visma rider said he had not set out to take the race lead, it was more a case of his rivals being unable to follow.

"I didn’t want to attack today, I just wanted to defend myself," he said afterwards. "But then they attacked, and I was working with Richard [Carapaz] and then he couldn’t follow any more."

It was a typically understated summary of a piece of riding that will leave his rivals for both the rest of the Critérium du Dauphiné and also the Tour, wondering how on earth they can go about beating him.

After crossing the line with a 31-second advantage over the chasers, Vingegaard's closest rival on GC is now Ben O'Connor (Ag2r-Citroën) who he leads by 1.10.

Vingegaard also paid tribute to those injured in a knife attack not far away in Annecy, which left six people including four young children injured.

Clearly very emotional, he said: "I’m of course very happy with the win today, but on a day like today with what happened in Annecy, it doesn’t really matter with cycling. My thoughts are with all the families."

The 26-year-old had been sitting in second place after the stage four time trial, in which he was second to fellow Dane Mikkel Bjerg (UAE-Team Emirates), who also took the GC lead.

Stage five, which was backloaded with three classified climbs – a cat 3, 4, and 2, was seen as a breakaway opportunity rather than a GC day. Indeed that seemed exactly how it might play out, with a handy looking break getting established early on.

However, they were caught on the final climb, and then came the inevitable attacks, instigated by Richard Carapaz and followed by Julian Alaphilippe and then Vingegaard.

The Frenchman dropped away but Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) and Vingegaard persevered, first as a pair and then, when Carapaz could no longer keep up, as Vingegaard alone.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.