All the favorites for the next Tour de France lined up at the 72nd Critérium du Dauphiné to fill up with optimism before the Grand Départ on August 29th. They all left with cans weighed down with doubts, fears and even wounds and pain. The observation is also valid for Julian Alaphilippe (Deceunink-Quick Step), still looking for a first success this season and Romain Bardet, whose AG2R team has shown worrying shortcomings.
Pinot too fair.After the retirement of Roglic this Sunday morning, Thibaut Pinot found himself leader of the event but he did not, in the absence of David Gaudy and Rudy Mollard, not have the sufficient team to resist the assaults of his pursuers. He will not be the first French to win on the Dauphiné since Christophe Moreau in 2007. Lonely, he could only save the podium at the end of the stage and finished second behind the Colombian Daniel Martinez (EF Pro). “I didn't want to smile on the podium,” he grimaces under his mask. I failed in the goal set. I was attacked on the first hill. I thought I had good legs, but I gave up suddenly. It took a long time to come back and I was furious with myself. He nevertheless prefers to retain the mind which allowed him, in the end, to return to the podium. “Julian (Alaphilippe) and Warren (Barguil) gave me a boost. But I have rarely finished a stage so tired. I must also tell myself that we do not run second in such a tough Dauphiné without having good feelings. "
The Bernal mystery. Officially, Egan Bernal, the outgoing winner of the Tour, gave up on Saturday morning for back pain… which did not then prevent him from lining up the kilometers in the mountains once the race started again without him. If the Colombian of Ineos has, very probably, sought to save himself before the Tour, doubts escort his team: Chris Froome, the four-time winner of the Grande Boucle, has been transparent all week and we can imagine him in the role of the weak link if it were to be aligned with the Tour. And Geraint Thomas, winner of the 2018 Tour, didn't show much either.
Roglic and the Jumbo-Visma stationary. The yellow bulldozer, so domineering for two weeks, hiccups. Primoz Roglic, impressive leader from the start, retired this Sunday morning, poorly recovered from his violent fall the day before. Worse, Steven Kruijswijk, 3rd of the last Tour, resigned his shoulder on Saturday and is very uncertain to be at the start in Nice on August 29. As for Tom Dumoulin, the third putative boss of the Dutch team, he appeared a notch below Roglic. Not very reassuring for the other scarecrow of the peloton with the Ineos ...