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As it happened: Christophe Laporte breaks Rune Herregodts' heart at Criterium du Dauphine


Bonjour and welcome to our live coverage of stage 1 of the 2023 Criterium du Dauphine.

Our live coverage kicks off as the riders sign-on and line-up for the start of the opening 158km stage.

It could be a day for early attacks and for the sprinters who can survive and chase over the hills of central France. 

As part of a new COVID-19 protocol, riders and staff are wearing masks at the sign-on. 

We're one minute from roll out!

A week after the Giro d'Italia ended in Rome, the road to the Tour de France begins in earnest with the Critérium du Dauphiné. 

The eight-day French event, which starts this Sunday, is both blessed and cursed by its status regarding the Tour. On the one hand, it's a prestigious event in its own right, being considered one of France's top three stage races and with a star-studded palmares. With major mountains, summit finishes, and a mid-week time trial, the performance of every major contender and the implication for the Tour de France is heavily scrutinized.

Over the years, the Criterium du Dauphiné has proven to be accurate at showing the direction of travel of most of the stars. Teams use the Dauphiné to shrink their Tour long-lists. The Tour de Suisse and nationals championships help provide the final cuts, but the Dauphiné always gives the most indications of who is likely to make the Tour teams - as former Tour winners Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas both found out when they were dropped from the Ineos' long list for July after the 2020 edition.

The peloton rolls out from the shores of Chambon-sur-Lac and head to km 0. 

As soon as the flag drops, we expect attacks.  

158km to go

It's warm and sunny in central France, with everyone able to take the first leader's yellow jersey. 

The racing should be fast and furious. 

The organisers of the Critérium du Dauphiné have cooked up a next-level challenge for this year's race. 

The race takes place over eight stages from June 4-11, heading from the rolling terrain of the Puy-de-Dôme department at Chambon-sur-Lac in central France to the highest finish in the race's history on the Col de la Croix-de-Fer in the Alps.

Profiles for the 2023 Criterium du Dauphine

(Image credit: ASO)
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The opening stage takes place around Chambon-sur-Lac, a commune that sits in the shadow of the sprawling Parc naturel régional des Volcans d'Auvergne - an area of 80 dormant volcanoes - one of which, the Puy-de-Dôme, gives the department its name. 

The peloton will have to wait to tackle any major climbs, however, as they skirt the Super-Besse ski station and tackle instead five category 4 climbs in the foothills. After one large lap, the stage finishes with three loops of a circuit that includes the Côte du Rocher de l'Aigle, the last ascent crested with around 10km to go, before a descent to the finish and uphill kick to the line.

152km to go

As soon as the flag was dropped for the stage start, the attacks began. 

Nothing has got away so far, the speed is too high.  

For the third year in a row, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) is in France in June, with July and the Tour de France already on his mind. 

On Friday he rode up the ascent of Puy-de-Dôme climb that will feature in the Tour de France with other riders.

He was second overall at the 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné but as the reigning winner of the Tour de France, the Danish rider is more ambitious and confident than ever. 

“If I have to chose, I want to win the Tour”, he said. ‘Winning it gives you a lot of confidence and I believe I can do it again.” 

“I’d like to win the Dauphiné but it’s not to send a message or take some sort of revenge. I just like to win races." 

“I always enjoy racing in France and this is a very nice race. There are super hard stages and normally some good weather. The time trial is an advantage, but we’ve seen every once in a while you can do a bad TT. A lot of stages will be decisive. You have to be there and fight every day.”

Vingegaard wins stage 3 of the 2023 Itzulia Basque Country

(Image credit: Getty Images)


We have some attacks. 

After a fast opening 10km we have a break. 

Dorian Godon (AG2R Citroën), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Dstny) joined Rune Herregodts (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Fabio Van den Bossche (Alpecin Deceuninck) and Donavan Grondin (Arkéa Samsic).

They lead the peloton by 1:20. They've been given their freedom. 

140km to go

Bora-Hansgrohe and Jumbo-Visma are leading the chase. Bora have sprinter Sam Bennett in their line-up, while Jumbo want to stay safe up front and protect Vingegaard.

The Critérium du Dauphiné is always a useful performance testing ground for teams and riders in the run-up to the Tour de France. 

New equipment is often rolled out and this seems to be the case with Team AG2R  Citroën who have been spotted with a new BMC race bike at the start.

Will Jones is in France for Cyclingnews and spotted the new bike. 

This is the new bike. 

Prototype Create Speed BMC

(Image credit: Future / Will Jones)

Cyclingnews spotted some new prototype bikes ahead of the race's opening stage mounted on the team's car roof rack. 

The new bikes have a plain black paint scheme except for a large 'create speed' logo on the downtube and a small RedBull advanced technologies logo on the fork.

Click below to read the full story on the new bike.

Prototype BMC road bike breaks cover at Critérium du Dauphiné

Prototype Create Speed BMC

(Image credit: Future / Will Jones)

130km to go

The five attackers are working well together but the peloton is keeping them in check. Their lead is pegged at 1:45.  

The sprint and GC teams don't want any riders to get out of control.  

Today's stage is a roller coaster in the hills. 

After one large lap, the stage finishes with three loops of a circuit that includes the Côte du Rocher de l'Aigle, the last ascent crested with around 10km to go, before a descent to the finish and uphill kick to the line.

The break and the peloton cross the Côte du Mont-Dore, the first categorised climb of the day. 

It is a short climb of just under two kilometers that rises at an average of 5.5%.

Next up is the Côte de la Stele as the route gets hillier. 

It's good to see Egan Bernal back racing.

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Donavan Grondin (Arkea-Samsic) is the first to pass the summit of the Côte de la Stele after 41.6 km of fast racing.

The peloton is at 1:40. 

Jumbo-Visma continue to help chase the attack.

They have Vingegaard but also Christophe Laporte, who can climb and sprint very well.

The Critérium du Dauphiné peloton

The Critérium du Dauphiné peloton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Critérium du Dauphiné stage 1 break: Brent Van Moer (Lotto Dstny), Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty), Fabio Van Den Bossche (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Dorian Godon (AG2R) and Donavan Grondin (Arkea - Samsic)

The Critérium du Dauphiné stage 1 break

(Image credit: Getty Images)
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The hills have forced the peloton to slow slightly as they ride steady to ensure their sprinters stay in the peloton.

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Dstny), Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty), Fabio Van Den Bossche (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Dorian Godon (AG2R) and Donavan Grondin (Arkea - Samsic) sense they have a chance of staying away on the hilly circuits. 

The Critérium du Dauphiné stage 1 break

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dorian Godon was the fastest in the intermediate sprint in Picherande. 

He takes 10 points and 3 bonus seconds. Van den Bossche and Van Moer complete the top 3.

Godon is sweeping up as many primes as he can today.

The Critérium du Dauphiné stage 1 break

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The riders will soon drop down to the finish area and start the three Chambon-sur-Lac circuits.

80km to go

The attackers are arrive in Besse, with a lead of 2:20. It's raining now, adding an extra twist and difficulty to the day.

It's nasty out there. 

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The rain has sparked a crash. Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) is involved, plus
riders from Intermarché-Circus-Wanty and Total Energies.

Ethan Hayter has crashed a second time and has been forced to abandon on stage 1.

Hugo Page (Intermarché-Wanty-Circus) is also out after the crash. 

That's sad to see after just 100km of racing. 

60km to go

The skies are grey but it has stopped raining now. The downpour was a passing heavy shower.

The attackers are climbing cat-4 Côte du Rocher de l'Aigle (1km at 7.3%). It is on the finishing circuit and so will be climbed three times today.

50km to go

We're into the final 50km, the final hour or so of racing and this opening stage could still go so many ways.  

Uff... The rain is falling hard yet again.

The break have a lead of 2:40 and the rain will surely help them stay away. The peloton will not want to take any major risk in the chase.

46km to go

The attackers go through the finish area, with two laps to race.

Bora-Hansgrohe remain the only sprinter team leading the peloton in chase of the break. 

Jayco AlUla (for Dylan Groenewegen) are staying on the wheels for now to see how he deals with the climbs on the circuit.

The peloton power through the finish area, throwing up a lot of rain from their wheels. 

Donavan Grondin (Arkea-Samsic) and Fabio Van Den Bossche (Alpecin-Deceuninck) have been dropped from the break, leaving three riders up front.  

Their gap is down to 2:15 as the peloton pushes the chase.

The Critérium du Dauphiné stage 1 break

(Image credit: Getty Images)

40km to go

Jayco have put a rider on the front of the peloton, which indicates that Dylan Groenewegen fancies his chances in a sprint finish.

The race is back on the Côte du Rocher de l'Aigle. It's only 1km at 6.1% but riders are dropping out of the back. 

Even Groenewegen is suffering, as Soudal try to shake out the peloton, perhaps even for Alaphilippe.

35km to go

The roads are still wet as the rider descend down the Côte du Rocher de l'Aigle.

Soudal and Jumbo-Visma are still driving the pace hard in the peloton. 

The gap to the three attackers is down to 1:45. The race is on! 

The summit of the Côte du Rocher de l'Aigle includes a 10km section of rolling roads, which are as decisive as the main climb.

30km to go

Soudal are smashing it on the front and so Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) has also been dropped from the peloton.

Dries Devenyns is doing a lot of the work on the front as the gap to the break falls to 1:30. 

Everyone else is sat behind Soudal, sitting on, waiting and hoping to have their own chance at the finish.

25km to go

The riders dive down the descent to the finish area and the roads are now drying quickly. 

We can surely expect more attacks on the final climb of Côte du Rocher de l'Aigle.  

The bell rings for the breakaway. 

Brent Van Moer (Lotto Dstny), Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty) and Dorian Godon (AG2R) lead the peloton  by just 1:20 now. 

The peloton is back on the climb and are hunting down the attackers. 

Attila Valter is riding on the front for Jumbo, as the gap to the attackers falls to 40 seconds.

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UAE, Movistar and EF are also up front protecting their GC leaders.

Jumbo are riding for Laporte. It is difficult to see who can beat him in a sprint.

The likes of Groenewegen, Bennett and other sprinters have been dropped.

The Critérium du Dauphiné peloton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ethan Vernon, a possible sprint hope for Soudal, is dropped. That means the team are surely all-in for Alaphilippe now. 

16km to go

The break is about to be caught near the summit of the climb. 

13km to go

Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty) and Dorian Godon (AG2R) are about to be caught as the rain returns. 

8km to go

Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty) refuses to give up and dives down the descent alone. 

The gap is only 10 seconds.

It'll be fascinating to see which fast finishers are in the front group and how strong they feel after all the climbing and the rain. 

It's hard to see how anyone can better Laporte.  

5km to go

There are 100 riders in the peloton chasing Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty).

He still leads by 15 seconds as he takes huge risks to try to stay away.

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It's raining again and so the roads are soaked. 

Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty) keeps going and has a gap. 

2km to go

Can Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty) stay away? 

Jumbo lead the chase for Laporte, while also keeping Vingegaard safe. 

Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty) is giving it everything into the final kilometre.

The road rises and so that hurts Herregodts.

Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty) is still clear with 500m to go.

It's a thriller!

Laporte breaks Rune Herregodts' heart. 

He catches him just before the line, in the last 10 metres. 

Wow. What a thrilling finish. That was a brave effort by Rune Herregodts and it almost came off. 

This is the first shot of Laporte snatching the stage victory.

Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) celebrates his Criterium du Dauphine stage win

(Image credit: Getty Images)

That was a super close finish. 

Rune Herregodts (Intermarché -Circus - Wanty) was so close to victory that he hung on to finish third, surrounded by the best sprinters from the peloton. 

This was the moment that  Laporte caught and passed Herregodts.

JumboVisma’s Christophe Laporte L and Intermarche Circus Wantys rider Rune Herregodts R compete to win the first stage

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Laporte was overjoyed to win the stage.

"It was really close," he said. 

"Herregodts was very fast on the descent because we were also very fast. In the end it just worked out and I have to thank the team for their work today. 

"Jonas Vingegaard even led-out for me. It is a great honour to wear the yellow jersey."

Christophe Laporte (jumbo-Visma) celebrates on the podium with the yellow jersey of overall leader after winning the first stage of the 75th edition of the Criterium du Dauphine

(Image credit: Getty Images)

To see more great photographs from the stage, read our full stage report and see the stage results, click below. 

Criterium du Dauphine: Christophe Laporte catches Rune Herregodts on the line

The Critérium du Dauphiné riders got wet on stage 1

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Social media statistician has done the maths on Laporte's late catch of Herregodts. 

This is how close it was. 

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This screen grab confirms it. 

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It's been a busy weekend of racing, with Unbound Gravel the big event in the USA.

Jackie Tyson was there for Cyclingnews and captured all the news and race information for our detailed reports. 

Click below to read our race coverage and see out special Unbound Gravel tech reports. 

Unbound Gravel 2023

A terribly muddy section from mile 11 to 14 shattered bikes, spirits, and the field. A lead group of 7 men had significant gap at mile 22.

(Image credit: SnowyMountain Photography)

There was other racing in Europe, with the Brussels Cycling Classic ending in a sprint.

Click below for our report and photographs.

Brussels Cycling Classic: Arnaud Demare wins sprint with bike throw

Arnaud Demare celebrates winning the 2023 Brussels Cycling Classic

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Will jones in on the ground in France and has captured all the new bike tech that will be used at the Criterium du Dauphine and at the Tour de France. 

Click here for his story on the new Ridley bike being used by Lotto-Dstny  and then explore his other scoops from France, including sight of a new BMC new aero-focused bike.

Team Lotto-Dstny spotted with new Ridley bike at the Dauphiné

Ridley Prototype bike

(Image credit: Future / Will Jones)

Thanks for joining us for full live coverage of the stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphine.  

We'll be back on Monday with full coverage of stage 2 as the riders head from Brassac-les-Mines to La Chaise-Dieu. It'll be another hilly day but perhaps another chance for Laporte and the best sprinters. 

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