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Howson & Grmay make the front chasing group split on the final of stage two at Criterium du Dauphine – Team BikeExchange

Tour de Hongrie winner Damien Howson finished in a reduced chasing group on stage two of the Criterium du Dauphinetoday, as a solo breakaway rider stayed away for the second day in-a-row.

Five riders jumped away in the early kilometres, with the peloton allowing the escapees a maximum advantage of four minutes. The time gap eventually started to fall with around 50km to go, but with no concerted chase in the bunch, the gap remained at three minutes with 30km left to race.

Out front, Lukas Pöstlberger went solo from the breakaway while the peloton was thinning out over the remaining climbs behind. As the kilometres ticked down it was clear that the bunch had miscalculated the catch once again, with Pöstlberger holding on to win by 11 seconds while Howson rolled home in a reduced chase group alongside teammate Tsgabu Grmay.

Damien Howson
“It is pretty unusual racing, having the breakaway stay away on the first to days and especially as it was only one survivor but congrats to them. 

On the final climb, there was a bit of wind coming from the left and I think for Bahrain, it was a last attempt for them to try there to bring the breakaway back so with the wind and the pace, I think that is why it all split there.

I feel pretty good, I felt pretty comfortable in the select group at the finish, it was still a relatively sizeable group, but I think that was to be expected with a few of the sprinters that can climb where thinking they were in for a chance for a result today.

It was a hard day but the boys helped me all day so I could remain calm, and we look to tomorrow now.”

2021 Criterium du Dauphine stage 2 results:
1. Lukas Pöstlberger 4:25:20
2. Sonny Colbrelli +0:11
3. Alejandro Valverde ST
25. Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) ST

2021 Criterium du Dauphine GC:
1. Lukas Pöstlberger 8:38:32
2. Sonny Colbrelli +0:12
3. Alejandro Valverde +0:20
26. Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) +0:24

Photo courtesy of Getty Sport

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Lozano leads from the front on Stage 3 in Hungary as late crash takes down Peron & Benahmouda

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

It’s been our intention since the first stage. To get someone up the road in the breakaway, show our jersey to the world and also ease the pressure on our guys in the bunch who are asked with looking after Andrea and Mehdi so they can try in the final sprint.”

“Today that plan worked out really nicely, it took a while for the move to go, but when it went David was at the front, attentive and he made it into the group. We knew there wasn’t much chance of the move staying away, the big sprinters teams would always want to bring things back together ahead of tomorrow’s Queen Stage.

“David worked hard, and he kept trying to drive the group on into the closing kilometers, but they were caught ten kilometers from the finish, then first Mehdi went down and then Andrea in the final kilometer. That finished our chances for the sprint. Thankfully they are both ok. Andrea finished, but Mehdi had to be taken for a check-up, so won’t start tomorrow.”

David Lozano:

“Man, we have been trying every day to get into the breakaway and despite our efforts it didn’t happen, so I am really happy that we made it today. It was hard, but the stage was relatively short, and I felt good out there.”

“At first there were only three of us out there, we attacked on a short rise after the first climb and then two more guys came across. As a quintet we worked well together, I tried to go for some KOM points and managed to pick up a couple, but the other guy had a better sprint than me. Still, it was great to get out front again, it’s been a while for me, and I enjoyed it.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com