Van Den Broeck wins Dauphine stage as Vinokourov takes lead

Critérium du Dauphiné 2011, stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) took a strong solo win in the opening road stage of the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné in France on Monday.

Van Den Broeck attacked on the day’s final climb and managed to distance a chasing group of overall contenders to take the win. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) came home in second with Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) in third.

Much of the day’s racing was lead by a three-man escape group. Sven Vandousselaere (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) and Vincent Jérôme (Europcar) left the bunch after just 22km. The trio kept up the escape until the final 10km, when they were swallowed up by the bunch.

Duque crested the first three of the day’s four categorised climbs ahead of his two companions and earned himself the mountain points jersey for his efforts.

Almost as soon as the break was caught, Van Den Broeck and Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad) attacked at the base of the final climb, Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. They were soon joined by Thomas Voeckler (Europcar).

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Behind, several riders struggled to keep pace with the bunch, including overall leader Lars Boom (Rabobank), and an elite group of overall contenders quickly formed as the gradient increased. Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and last year’s winner, Janez Brajkovic (Radioshack) were all there.

Voeckler and Sivtsov struggled to keep away allowing Vandenbroeck put in a solo dig in the final 3km. The Belgian upped the pace to put the pressure on the chasers behind, and within the final kilometre he’d safely ridden himself to a stage win.

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) took the race lead from Boom, with Van Den Broeck now in second place at five seconds. Wiggins finished the stage in 11th place, and is now fourth overall.

On Tuesday the riders tackle stage two, a 179km trip from Voiron to Lyon which features four category four climbs along its path.

Critérium du Dauphiné 2011, stage one: Albertville to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, 144km
1. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto

2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 6 secs
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 7 secs
4. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana
5. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at same time
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 13 secs
8. Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
9. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar at 15 secs
10. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Radioshack at same time
11. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 15 secs
25. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 54 secs
35. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 58 secs
111. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 2-49

Overall classification after stage one
1. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana

2. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharm-Lotto at 5 secs
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 7 secs
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 11 secs
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 13 secs
6. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r at 17 secs
7. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Radioshack at 20 secs
8. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 23 secs
9. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at24 secs
10. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar at 27 secs
23. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1-05
38. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-27
114. Daniel Lloyd (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 3-27

Escape group, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage one

Vincent Jérôme, Leonardo Duque and Sven Vandousselaere in early escape group

Lars Boom and scenery, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage one

Lars Boom and some nice scenery

Daniel Martin and Nicolas Roche, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage one

Irish riders Nicolas Roche (left), fifth on stage, and Daniel Martin (right)

Bradley Wiggins, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage one

Brit Bradley Wiggins finished 11th on stage and is fourth overall

Jurgen Van Den Broeck wins stage, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage one
Simply the vest: Jurgen Van Den Broeck takes the win

Alexandre Vinokourov takes lead, Criterium du Dauphine 2011, stage one

Alexandre Vinokourov in the lead

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Critérium du Dauphiné 2011: Related links
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Prologue: Boom wins as Wiggins comes third
Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson
Criterium du Dauphine 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
Critérium du Dauphiné 2011: The Big Preview – includes stage guide, TV guide, team list, previous winners and more