The Critérium du Dauphiné peloton hit the mountains on Thursday for the first time in the 2015 edition of the race. Stage five from Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup incorporated five categorised climbs, including the ascent to the finish line.
Four riders were equipped with on-bike cameras to capture the action during the stage from the perspective of the peloton. Paul Voss and Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18) and Murilo Fischer and Arnaud Courteille (both FDJ) strapped GoPro cameras onto either their handlebars or beneath their saddle.
Luckily for us, Courteille made his way into the day’s early escape group, to give an insight into riding at the very front of the race. The Frenchman also went for the King of the Mountains points in the day’s first categorised climb of Col des Lèques and you can see him sprinting towards the line, just pipping KoM classification leader Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka).
Later on in the footage, one of the riders deviates off the tarmac onto some gravel and has to wait for the back of the peloton to pass before restarting. It clearly shows how easy it for a mishap to cause a rider to drop from the front of the pack to the rear in just a matter of seconds.
French rider Romain Bardet (Ag2r) took the stage win in spectacular fashion, attacking over the top of the first category climb of Col d’Allos and opening up a gap on his rivals that he maintained until the finish in Pra Loup. Bardet swept around the tight bends on the descent of Col d’Allos in a breath-taking display of bike handling skills. Part of the same descent can be seen at the end of the footage.
American Tejay van Garderen (BMC) leads the race overall with three stages remaining.