Aranburu sprints to third place as Lutsenko maintains second on GC – Astana

Aranburu sprints to third place as Lutsenko maintains second on GC

It was a fast finish on stage 5 of the Critérium du Dauphiné which saw Alex Aranburu sprint to third place to continue his run of top ten finishes on all four of the road stages so far.

After an impressive one-two on the stage four time trial, Alexey Lutsenko and Ion Izagirre retained their places on the General Classification with second and fourth place respectively.

It was a battle for the breakaway and after a few reshuffles at the front of the race, eight riders went clear to form the breakaway of the day. The peloton kept them close and eventually brought them back approaching the final 40 kilometres.

Despite further attacks, the reduced peloton remain intact as they reached the technical final five kilometres until Getaint Thomas launched what would be the winning move with one kilometre to go.

Thomas held on to a narrow advantage to take the win and behind, Aranburu launched a strong sprint to cross the line in third place, despite his crash in the time trial.

“After the crash yesterday the idea was to see how I felt today. At the beginning of the stage, I didn’t feel good at all and I suffered a lot. But then in the middle of the race, when the race started moving a little again when there were more attacks,  I tried to be in the group as I was feeling a little better. And then on the last climb, I took things easy. I started a bit behind and little by little, I managed to get ahead and was still in the first group heading into the finale. I was well placed in the sprint and in the end, I’m happy with third place today,” said Aranburu.

With three stages remaining, the mountains continue on stage 6 with four tough climbs scheduled in the final 50 kilometres.

Race profile

Critérium du Dauphiné

Stage 5: Saint-Chamond › Saint-Vallier

Top 3: 1. Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers), 2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain – Victorious), 3. Alex Aranburu (Astana – Premier Tech)

Astana – Premier Tech top 3:  3. Alex Aranburu

Photo: Getty Images

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com

Alex Aranburu comes close to Critérium du Dauphiné stage win – Astana

Alex Aranburu comes close to Critérium du Dauphiné stage win

A nail-biting finish to Critérium du Dauphiné stage 3 saw Alex Aranburu sprint to second place on the uphill finish in Saint-Haon-Le-Vieux, after being caught with 100 metres to go by Sonny Colbrelli.

“The last kilometre was pretty crazy. It was pretty tough. We all went two by two from each team so it was not organized at all. I was going from one side to the other to try and catch some wheels. I saw I was a little ahead so I decided to start my sprint because in the first two stages I was closed in a bit in the sprints. When I saw the opportunity, I went for it but I came up a bit short in the last stretch,” said Aranburu.

After a relatively quiet stage, the last of the two breakaway riders were caught with 22 kilometres to go, as the peloton battled for positioning heading into the finale.

Aranburu was well positioned by his teammates as the fast pace saw splits in the bunch and despite sitting outside of the top 20 riders approaching the flamme rouge, Aranburu showed his skill to surf from wheel to wheel and move up inside the final kilometre.

With the finish line in sight, Aranburu launched his sprint with 250 metres to go and immediately had a gap but Colbrelli was able to jump on his wheel and with 100 metres to go, come around the Basque rider to take the win.

Aranburu’s second place is his third consecutive top ten result in the opening three stages and sees him sit in third place on the General Classification, 18 seconds behind race leader Lukas Pöstlberger.

“My legs are good though. After the altitude camp in Teide I had some doubts but the truth is I am feeling better day by day so I’m happy. Tomorrow we have the time trial, then we have some hard stages in the mountains and we have to be strong for the General Classification. I think we will have to work hard but we will see what happens with breakaways too,” added Aranburu.

Race Profile

Critérium du Dauphiné

Stage 3: Langeac > Saint-Haon-Le-Vieux (172.2km)

Top 3: 1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious), 2. Alex Aranburu (Astana – Premier Tech), 3. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates)

Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 2. Alex Aranburu, 13. Ion Izagirre, 34. Alexey Lutsenko

Photo: Getty Sport

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com