Race report: Laporte wins a thrilling and unconventional ‘sprint’ opener at the Dauphiné

It was almost a breakaway victory, but it was heartbreak instead for Rune Herregodts who was caught just 25 metres from the line.

Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) wins stage 1 of the 2023 Critérium du Dauphiné. Photo: © Cor Vos

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 04.06.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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The Critérium du Dauphiné’s opening stage finished in spectacular fashion with breakaway rider Rune Herregodts (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) coming agonisingly close to denying the peloton victory, only to be caught 25 metres from the line by Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) at the head of a reduced bunch. Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) was next across the line, with Herregodts hanging on for third.

Christophe Laporte’s lead-out man was none other than reigning Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard.

Brief results:

  1. Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma)
  2. Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates)
  3. Rune Herregodts (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty)
  4. Axel Zingle (Cofidis)
  5. Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Dstny)

GC after stage 1:

  1. Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma)
  2. Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) +4s
  3. Rune Herregodts (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) +6s
  4. Axel Zingle (Cofidis) +10s
  5. Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Dstny) st.

Today was a day for the GC favourites to stay safe. Some, like Vingegaard – right at the front of the bunch is a good place to be – Richard Carapaz, Egan Bernal, Jai Hindley, David Gaudu, Adam Yates and defending white jersey winner Tobias Halland Johannessen, finished on the same time as Laporte, but not all were so lucky (or so vigilant). While his teammate Matteo Jorgenson stayed out of trouble, Enric Mas finds himself already 15 seconds down, but he’s better off than Mikel Landa who’s facing a deficit of 22 seconds.

A little further in arrears at 35 seconds are former Giro d’Italia pink jersey-wearer Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) and 19-year-old contender for ‘future of French cycling’ Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ).

The eleventh-hour catch:

The whole world was willing him on, but the finish line was just 25 metres too far for Rune Herregodts.


The moment Herregodts went clear on a day of close calls for the Belgian.
Dries Devenyns means business.

Quote of the day:

The quote of the day comes from the rider of the day, the man who put the peloton on notice and forced a furious chase that didn’t end until literally the last few metres.

“I knew this stage was an opportunity for the breakaway,” Herregodts told Cycling Pro Net. “There are often many opportunities for attackers in the Dauphiné, especially on this course. We got away with a strong group, but we didn’t get much of a lead and had to go full throttle early on. One by one my fellow escapees let go, but everyone gave 100%.”

His means of escape played out perfectly for the 24-year-old.

“The goal was to get over that steep climb solo,” he said of the Côte du Rocher de l’Aigle. “Then suddenly I grabbed ten seconds and still had energy left to give. I heard I had fifteen seconds at two kilometres. ‘This was possible’, I thought at the time.

“I gave everything and therefore I cannot be disappointed.”

Social media review:

Heartbreak for Herregodts.

How close?!

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