Stage 3 of the Criterium du Dauphine saw the breakaway get the better of the sprint teams once again as Koen Bouwman (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) took the win ahead of Evaldas Siskevicius (Delko Marseille) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty Groupe Gobert).
Once again it looked like the perfect day for another sprint finish at the Criterium du Dauphine but just like on stage 1, the early break of the day had other ideas. 6 riders got away in the opening kilometers of today’s 184km stage and they quickly got their gap up to over 6-minutes. Lotto-Soudal kept tabs on the break but it was up to main sprinters teams to reign the break in.
With the favourites for stage among their teams, FDJ and Katusha put a rider forward each to start pulling the break back and our African Team was also willing to commit Jay Thomson to the chase. The gap steadily decreased until the turn for home was made with 20km to go, and then the slight tailwind assisted the breakaway. With just 2 Katusha riders, Thomson and an FDJ rider actively chasing, the numbers didn’t add up to the 6 riders pulling up front.
The break reached the home straight in Tullins with some time to spare and sprinted it out for the win. FDJ eventually put their whole team on the front to leadout Arnaud Demare but it was all too late. The bunch sprinted it out for 7th and Edvald Boasson Hagen was our best placed on the stage, taking 11th position.
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
We weren’t able to bring back the break today but it was really up to the other teams to start chasing earlier. We did a great job with the team on the opening two days and also today. We were not able to sprint for the win though. The legs are feeling pretty good so personally I am happy with where I am at right now.