Wout van Aert wins uphill bunch sprint in stage one of Critérium du Dauphiné 2020

The Belgian adds to his wins at Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) won stage one of the Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of Daryl Impey after a very high paced finale to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez.

The final climb saw several attacks from some of the big favourites for the overall but it was Jumbo-Visma who took control and lead out the 2020 Milan-San Remo winner who took a very impressive victory.

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Van Aert launched first with Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) coming from a few wheels back to close the Belgian down just as he crossed the line, with 2019 Tour de France champion, Egan Bernal (Team Ineos), in third.

Along with the opening stage victory, Van Aert also takes the overall lead ahead of Impey with four tough mountain stages ahead.

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How it happened

The peloton had a 218.5km route to tackle from Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d-Or to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez where the riders would take on seven categorised climbs along the way.

There was a five-man break that went up the road in the shape of Quinten Hermans (Circus-Wanty Gobert), Tom-Jelte Slagter (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) Michael Schär (CCC Team), Niccolò Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) and Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal).

A crash took out three of the break, Hermans, Bonifazio and Van Moer, who all abandoned due to their injuries. Another crash happened in the peloton, which forced Jan Hirt (CCC Team) out of the race as well.

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With 55km to go, Slagter decided that he didn’t want to be in the break anymore and dropped back to the pack. Leaving Schär to battle on solo.

This meant that he took enough points to wear the polka-dot king of the mountains jersey tomorrow.

With 35km to go the riders were coming up to the first passage of the line before heading onto a loop to bring them back to the finish.

This saw an attack launched from the peloton with Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) and Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) go clear.

They were quickly followed by Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), who then went over the top and solo to catch Schär, which he did with 25km to go.

Unfortunately, 2km later, Pacher overcooked a corner and hit the deck, leaving Schär, once again, briefly solo until he was caught by Kragh Andersen and Cavagna a kilometre later.

Cavagna then went clear but it wasn’t long until he was brought back on the final climb.

The first big name to attack was Rigoberto Urán (EF Pro Cycling) with 3km to go, he was immediately chased down by Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) along with a few other favourites, but it was brought back straight away by the bunch.

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It was then when Jumbo-Visma took it up with Tom Dumoulin leading Van Aert and Roglič with the rest of the peloton in tow.

It was Van Aert who launched first with about 150 metres left, Impey had to come from a long way back and closed fast, but ran out of road.

Bernal followed Impey’s wheel, which lead him to a solid third place, along with taking potentially vital bonus seconds.

Van Aert will wear the yellow jersey on Thursday’s stage two as the riders race from Vienne to Col de Porte over 132.5km.

Wout van Aert takes the stage and yellow on stage one of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Results

Critérium du Dauphiné stage one: Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez (218.5km)

1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, in 5-27-42
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos
4. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar team
5. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
6. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
7. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling
8. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
9. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
10. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, all at same time

General classification

1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, in 5-27-42
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott, at 4s
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos, at 6s
4. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar team, at 10s
5. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
6. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
7. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling
8. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
9. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
10. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, all at same time