Primož Roglič wins stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Roglič turns the tables as Evenepoel loses ground in the mountains at the Dauphiné

After the Belgian's TT win on Wednesday, it was Roglič's turn to shine at the Dauphiné on Friday.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 07.06.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Two days ago at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) laid down a marker ahead of the Tour de France, putting on a display of form to win the stage 4 time trial. GC rival Primož Roglič of Bora-Hansgrohe was a respectable third on the stage, 39 seconds back, but it was clearly Evenepoel’s day.

On Friday’s stage 6, it was Roglič’s turn to put on a show, and this time, Evenepoel was found lacking.

With an attack from Roglič’s Bora teammate Aleksandr Vlasov and Laurens de Plus of the Ineos Grenadiers helping to apply pressure to a dwindling GC group on the slopes of the Collet d’Allevard finishing climb, overnight race leader Evenepoel began to falter. The 24-year-old Belgian lost touch with Roglič and company some 4 km from the finish, and he found himself 20 seconds back before his new teammate Mikel Landa went to work in his chasing group to limit the damage.

Unfortunately for Evenepoel, Vlasov settled back in front of Roglič and drove a hard tempo in the lead group until Roglič and Giulio Ciccone (Lidl-Trek) fired clear inside the very steep final kilometer. Roglič took the stage win, the maximum bonus seconds, and the GC lead, with Evenepoel only arriving 42 seconds later. In just the closing kilometers of the stage, he had lost the better part of a minute on the GC standings to Roglič, wiping out the advantage he had gained in the time trial and then some. He’s now 19 seconds clear of Evenepoel in second overall.

“Finally, I win a race. It’s been a while,” Roglič said after his win, his second this year. “The whole team, the guys showed their commitment from the very start from day one. Yesterday hit quite hard, all of us, and today they showed again a great performance.”

Remco Evenepoel on stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Remco Evenepoel did not seem to be at his best on Friday.

Roglič also explained that the aforementioned performance came despite the effects of an injured shoulder after he went down in the mass crash on stage 5.

“I’m quite limited with my left shoulder,” he said. “I couldn’t reach in the pocket and I was holding it all day, but the legs are working so I can’t complain.” That they are; maybe the best indication that Roglič is approaching his old form is that he is back to his usual habit of grabbing bonus seconds wherever possible, a tactic that was a key factor in his Giro d’Italia win last year.

As for Evenepoel, it remains to be seen whether Friday’s struggles were merely a single jour sans or a sign of bigger problems on the steep stuff. One bright spot for the Belgian and his team, at least, was the performance of Landa, who was signed to be a valuable supporter for Evenepoel and proved to be just that on Friday.

In any case, the Dauphiné is not over yet. Roglič has a 19-second lead in the general classification, but it’s still all to play for with two stages in the mountains still to come.

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