Brave Gregor Mühlberger just beaten by Alaphilippe on Critérium du Dauphiné stage 6
It was a rainy start into today’s longest stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné. The course took the peloton from Saint-Vulbas Plaine de l'Ain to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne over 229 km. On the way to the finish, the riders had to face eight categorized climbs, three of which were category 2 ascents. Directly after the start, a group of well-known riders formed the breakaway of the day and one of them was BORA – hansgrohe climber Gregor Mühlberger. Together with J. Alaphilippe and A. De Marchi, the group went up the road and was able to extend their lead to more than five minutes. With 125 km remaining a new maximum time gap was recorded and the trio had more than ten minutes advantage, which increased still on the following kilometers. Therefore, today’s stage winner would come out of this group, also the peloton eased up the pace. The young BORA – hansgrohe rider put in a great effort in the day’s break and was always up there. As the leading trio faced the penultimate climb of the day, 25 km before the finish, their advantage was still more than 12 minutes. It was on the final climb of the day, in the last 10km of the race, that Mühlberger and Alaphilippe launched an attack. De Marchi wasn’t able to follow and had to pull back, while Mühlberger tried to drop Alaphilippe several times. The final kilometers were earmarked by a battle between Mühlberger and Alaphilippe, who headed into the final stretch, which featured a headwind, together. Mühlberger started his sprint from the front and looked confident to take the win, when Alaphilippe was able to beat him to the line by only centimeters. Still Mühlberger showed an unbelievably strong performance on today’s first mountain stage at this year’s Dauphine.
01 J. Alaphilippe 6:00:54
02 G. Mühlberger +0:00
03 A. De Marchi +0:22
From the Finish Line
"The team gave me a chance to fight for a stage win today. After 13km of racing a breakaway went up the road. We were a really small breakaway with only three riders but we worked really good together and were able to open up a huge gap. In the last 15 km the attacks were flying but I was able to counter every attack, and held Alaphilippe and De Marchi under control. Finally, just us two battled for the victory. In the finale, I missed only some centimetres to Alaphilippe." - Gregor Mühlberger
“Our Plan was to be part of the day’s break with Gregor. First, we were unsure about such a small breakaway but as the gap increased, we knew the winner would come out of this group. At the beginning, Sam tried to follow but decided to stay in the peloton then. We kept an eye on Alaphilippe, we knew he would be the guy to beat. Gregor did everything right, he rode such a strong race. To lose by millimeters is such a pity but he will have more chances to come.” – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director