Criterium du Dauphine #5: Boasson Hagen takes 8th in mass sprint

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Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) won the 5th stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, sprinting to the victory ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie).

Today was the last real chance for the sprinters at this years Criterium du Dauphine and so the teams of the fast finishers wanted to make sure they would have their chance at glory. When the early 4-rider break of the day got to a lead of 5 minutes, FDJ, Katusha and our Jay Thomson went to the head of the peloton to set the tempo.

The peloton was taking no chances today and immediately started to chip away at the lead with still 80km to go. The break imploded under the pressure, one by one a rider dropped from the break until Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac) was the last rider to be caught with 7km to go. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had pinned its hopes on Edvald Boasson Hagen once again and our Norwegian Champion went into the final 5km in a good position.

Positioned on the wheel of Alexander Kristoff and his Katusha leadout, it was a technical last few kilometers that made it difficult for Boasson Hagen to always stay on the wheel. Under the 1km to go banner though, the road straightened out and Boasson Hagen was still poised to launch his sprint off the wheel of his countryman. The Katusha train didn’t have enough speed to stay ahead with riders swamping from the rear to the front. This saw Boasson Hagen get trapped up against the barriers on the right with Bauhaus launching the fastest sprint of the day down the left side. After not really opening his sprint, Boasson Hagen had to be content with crossing the line in 8th.

Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
I had a good position on the wheel of Katusha. Jay had done a lot of good control work all day and Scott was also helping to position me in the final. I was in a good position but then when I wanted to move out into the wind I was closed on the inside. I knew I had to be on the left side but when I had the gap it was still too early and then when I needed to go there was no space. It’s pity because now we head to the mountains so maybe I have to try something different. I’m feeling good though, the legs are good and I am happy with where I am at heading toward the Tour.