Dan Martin keeps Dauphiné hopes alive as Ineos rocked by Froome crash

Posted on: June 12th, 2019

Irish cyclist Dan Martin in TT mode: The UAE Team Emirates rider has kept his hopes alive with a solid, though not spectacular, ride against the clock.

Dan Martin has lost more time to his rivals in the TT stage at Critérium du Dauphiné, but has ridden solidly enough to keep alive his general classification challenge.

The Irish cyclist lost 31 seconds to almost all of his main rivals on stage 2 when Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) lit it up over the top of the last climb.

Martin was quick to point out after that stage that he had missed a split on the flat after the climb rather than on the ascent. And he put it down to bad positioning.

Today, with a climb on the 26.1km course in Roanne, the Irish climber finished in 20th position, some 1:38 down on winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

The Belgian cyclocross star turned road man won today against the watch just 24 hours after finishing 2nd to Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) in the bunch sprint that settled yesterday’s third stage.

However, while the winning ride was very impressive, the big news of the day was Chris Froome’s crash warming up for the TT.

The Team Ineos rider, and Tour de France favourite, has a broken femur among several broken bones and his season is over.

Van Aert in the points leader’s colours on his way to a brilliant victory in the TT
Sam Bennett did what he had to and nothing more, riding thinking of tomorrow

Van Aert is clearly in fantastic form and today he was an incredible 31 seconds ahead of runner-up Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First).

Former world TT champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) was 3rd, a full 47 seconds down on the winner.

After the top three the gaps were smaller; just 51 seconds covering the 18 men placed between Dumoulin and Martin.

It means while the UAE Team Emirates Irish rider has lost time again to almost all of his rivals for a place on the podium, the gaps are not so large that the race is already over.

Indeed, given the climbing to come on the final three stages, and the fact Chris Froome is no longer in the race, it is still an open contest.

Yates is in yellow and he may now win the race given how strong he is on the climbs
Teuns put in a very strong performance in the yellow jersey but just came up short, by 4 seconds to be precise, and has lost the race lead

The big winner today was Adam Yates (Mitchelton Scott). He made the nine-man favourites’ group on stage 2 and today he was 6th at 56 seconds.

That puts him into the race lead as the yellow jersey starting today, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), placed 14th, some 1:24 behind Van Aert and 28 seconds off Yates.

It means the British rider took the lead from Teuns by just four seconds. Overall, Ireland’s Martin is now in 13th place and 1:13 off Adam Yates.

The gaps between Martin and the other general classification men are not insurmountable, though Dan Martin has given himself a lot of work to do.

In recent years Dan Martin has come storming through in this event on the hardest stages to claw back time and edge his way up the leader board; onto the podium twice and to 4th last year.

But he now needs to put a decent chunk of time into a number of very good climbers when the road kicks up if he is to challenge for the podium again.

He is now 1:13 down on race leader Yates. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) is 4th, just seven seconds off yellow and so 1:06 up on Martin.

Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) is next overall; in 5th place, 24 seconds off Yates and 49 seconds up on Dan Martin.

The in-form Pinot is 6th; some 25 seconds off yellow and 48 seconds up on Martin.

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Van Aert are 8th and 9th; 30 seconds down on Yates and 43 seconds up on Martin.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Wout Poels (Team Ineos) are 10th and 11th, 40 seconds off Yates and with 33 seconds in hand over Martin.

And then comes Richie Porte; the Trek-Segafredo man one place and 19 seconds better off than Dan Martin.

Meanwhile, stage 3 winner Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) rode around today, staying in one piece and finishing in 117th, some 4:40 off the stage winner.

Tomorrow is another possible stage win for the Irish sprinter. He will be red hot favourite if it comes down to a bunch gallop.

The 210km stage 5 from Boën-sur-Lignon to Voiron features a number of small climbs and an incline to finish but nothing that should worry Bennett.