Arnaud Démare sprints to win on Critérium du Dauphiné stage two as Thomas De Gendt retains lead

The Frenchman sprinted ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Nacer Bouhanni to take the win

Criterium du Dauphine 2017 - 05/06/2017 - Etape 2 - Saint-Chamond / Arlanc (171km) - DEMARE Arnaud (FDJ) - Vainqueur de l'étape 2

(Image credit: ASO/A.Broadway)

Arnaud Démare (FDJ) sprinted to his second WorldTour win of the season on stage two of the Critérium du Dauphiné, beating Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) to the line.

The Frenchman was perfectly dropped off by his teammates on the right-hand side of the road by his FDJ team-mates as Katusha powered on the front in aid of Kristoff.

Criterium du Dauphine 2017 - 05/06/2017 - Etape 2 - Saint-Chamond / Arlanc (171km) - DEMARE Arnaud (FDJ) - (ASO/A.Broadway)
(Image credit: ASO/A.Broadway)

As Démare was left by his last leadout man, he was able to grab Ben Swift's (UAE Team Emirates) wheel before jumping round him with a powerful sprint and leaving everyone in his wake.

Kristoff, who started ahead of Démare, was able to hold his sprint to grab second, with Bouhanni sneaking in for third.

2016 Milan-San Remo winner Démare adds the Dauphiné win to the opening stage victory he took at Paris-Nice in March.

Behind the sprint finish, race leader Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) was able to retain his lead ahead of Axel Domont (Ag2r La Mondiale) after finishing safely in the main bunch.

Criterium du Dauphine 2017 - 05/06/2017 - Etape 2 - Saint-Chamond / Arlanc (171km) - Lotto-Soudal at the front of the peloton (ASO)
(Image credit: ASO/A.Broadway)

How it happened

As the flag dropped the breakaway immediately attempted to get away.

Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Mickaël Delage (FDJ), Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac) and Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) were the chosen quartet to initially get away, establishing a maximum gap of 3-45.

Delage dropped out of the break shortly after with 142km remaining, with his FDJ team likely to have called him back to help team-mate Démare to victory.

Astana clearly wanted to make the break and having missed it, increased the pace on the front of the bunch to bring the gap down to 1-30, which allowed their rider Alexey lutsenko to bridge over to the break with 72km to go.

The gap remained relatively steady but Bowman and Combaud began to look tired, Lutsenko attacked and went solo with 30km remaining.

While his former breakaway companions immediately sat up to be caught by the peloton, Lutsenko managed to hold onto a minute advantage for some time before Dimension Data began the chase in earnest.

Lutsenko was eventually caught after a determined effort with 3km remaining, with the sprint teams in full swing to try and set things up for their fast men, where Démare ultimately proved triumphant.

The Critérium du Dauphiné continues on Tuesday with stage three, a 184km route that once again should suit the sprinters.


Critérium du Dauphiné stage two, Saint Chamand - Arlanc (171km)

1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ, in 4-13-53

2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin

3 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

4 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida

5 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb

6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data

7 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates

8 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe

9 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac

10 Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie, all same time

Criterium du Dauphine 2017 - 05/06/2017 - Etape 2 - Saint-Chamond / Arlanc (171km) - DE GENDT Thomas (LOTTO SOUDAL) (ASO)
(Image credit: ASO/A.Broadway)

General classification after stage two

1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal, in 8-30-47

2 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 48s

3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 1:03

4 Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, at 1:07

5 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1:09

6 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida

7 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates

8 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac

9 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal

10 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, all same time

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