Dani Martínez has won the Critérium du Dauphiné 2020, overhauling Thibaut Pinot’s pre-stage GC lead, the Frenchman finishing runner-up.
His compatriot Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) was third overall, while Sepp Kuss won the final stage five following a late attack, the third victory for Jumbo-Visma at this year’s Dauphiné.
Martínez (EF Pro Cycling) finished second on the stage, with Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) third.
Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) abandoned during stage five after experiencing pain in the same knee injured when he was hit by a car during a training ride in July, while Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren) also dropped out of GC contention after suffering from cramps.
How it happened
On the fifth and final day of climbing it was all to play for after race leader Primož Roglič failed to take the start.
And there was action right from the off, as Julian Alaphilippe led over the summit of the first climb and a select group featuring the strongest riders in the race started going clear of the peloton, with Pinot, Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), Landa, Pavel Sivakov (Ineos) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) all making the cut.
The peloton neutralised the race on the descent of the first climb, a protest in response to the condition of the descent of the first ascent yesterday, which Dumoulin described as “disgraceful”.
This allowed the group off the front to build up a lead of almost a minute before the bunch started reeling them back in on the flat before the sole HC climb of the day, the Col de Romme.
Dumoulin and Will Barta (CCC) attacked the front group on the lower slopes before Dumoulin went again alongside Alaphilippe, Sivakov, Pogačar, Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and others.
Pinot, second-place Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Landa were chasing half a minute behind, as David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) led Alaphilippe over the summit.
The front group then swelled to over 20 riders as Pinot, Quintana, and others got back on, but only for a moment before Alaphilippe and Sivakov went on the offensive this time.
Sivakov was the first over the top of the Col de la Colombière, with Pinot’s chase group only 15 seconds behind.
Alaphilippe and Sivakov extended their lead to over a minute as Landa dropped from the Pinot group, the Bahrain-McLaren rider said to be suffering from cramps.
The leading pair kept plugging away, taking their advantage out to a minute and a half before Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) drilled the pace to bring them back under 60 seconds.
With 30km to go, Sivakov was the latest rider to crash in a Dauphiné becoming defined by its falls, but he got back up and Alaphilippe waited for him.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) then attacked at the foot of the Cote de Domancy, which ignited the race, taking Miguel Ángel López with him.
They soon opened up a gap over Thibaut Pinot, endangering the Frenchman’s GC lead. Sepp Kuss and Dani Martínez then set off in pursuit of the pair, with Bardet also going as Pinot looked to be suffering.
The Martínez group was soon 10 seconds behind Alaphilippe and Sivakov and half a minute ahead of Pinot, with the Colombian taking the virtual race lead on the road.
With 20km to go, the gap was holding, as behind Nairo Quintana abandoned the race, while Kuss made it across to the leading group, swelling to six riders as Martínez and company caught Alaphilippe and Sivakov.
Sivakov wasn’t done yet, attacking at the bottom of the Côte de Cordon with Pogačar following, but they were only away for a moment before the group came back together.
Next it was Kuss’s turn, who accelerated 2.5km from the summit, as Pogačar chased behind and eventually caught him.
With Alaphilippe dropped, the foursome of Pogačar, Sivakov, Martínez and Kuss led the race, with Pinot a minute and a half behind, seemingly surrendering the overall lead.
The Pinot group wasn’t done yet, though, bringing the gap back down under a minute thanks to some help from Alaphilippe, before Kuss attacked once again at the foot of the final climb up to the Megève altiport.
The American had soon taken out a 10-second gap, as López was dropped from the Martínez group behind, making the EF rider’s overall victory more likely.
Kuss continued to power up the ascent until the finish, crossing the line to cap off an up and down week for Jumbo-Visma, while Martínez held off the last-gasp attempts from Pinot to claw him back, to claim the overall victory.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2020, stage five: Megève to Megève (153.5km)
1. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma, in 3-58-39
2. Dani Martínez (Col) EF Pro Cycling, at 27 seconds
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 30s
4. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos, at 45s
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 51s
6. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at same time
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 1-02
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 1-04
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 1-06
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic, at same time
Final general classification
1. Dani Martínez (Col) EF Pro Cycling, in 21-44-58
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 29 seconds
3. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 41s
4. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 56s
5. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana, at 1-38
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 1-43
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma, at 2-07
8. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 2-14
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic, at 2-49
10. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma, at 2-55