Primoz Roglic produces mountain masterclass to extend Dauphine lead

Primoz Roglic swept to back-to-back stage wins at the Criterium du Dauphine on Saturday
Primoz Roglic swept to back-to-back stage wins at the Criterium du Dauphine on SaturdayAFP
Slovenia's Primoz Roglic (34) exhibited his tactical nous as he left it late to surge over the finishing line on Saturday's queen stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.

The 2022 Dauphine winner streaked away from the yellow jersey group inside the last kilometre to win the hilly 155km stage seven race from Albertville to Samoens.

USA's Matteo Jorgenson and Italian Giulio Ciccone came in second and third, respectively.

"It seems easy but really guys did an amazing job and they controlled from the start," said 34-year-old Roglic of his teammates' role in his win.

"I'm glad I had the legs in the end to finish it off."

Back-to-back stage victories extend Roglic's lead in the general classification, which he claimed from Belgian rival Remco Evenepoel after winning Friday's stage.

Roglic leads Visma's Jorgenson by 1min2sec in the overall ranking, with Canadian stage four winner Derek Gee in third place.

Looking forward to the Dauphine's final stage on Sunday, Roglic said: "Another day and we can celebrate and be happy. Let's try to finish it off tomorrow. We'll do our best and we will see."

Spaniard Marc Soler of Team UAE initially broke away as part of a trio accompanied by Italians Davide Formolo and Lorenzo Fortunato 20km into the race.

Polka-dot jersey holder Mathis Le Berre of Arkea was dropped before the 30-kilometre mark by the leading group and never managed to catch back up to them over the rest of the hilly run.

Roglic sat back in the peloton, which was expertly controlled by his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates, and cruised along in the yellow jersey.

The 2018 Paris-Nice winner Soler went out on his own on Col de la Ramaz and sat one minute and 45 seconds in front of his pursuers as he crested the 1,619m peak.

He then widened the gap and had four minutes and 20 seconds on the peloton when he entered the daunting final ascent, with its 9.3 per cent average gradient.

But it was not enough as the yellow jersey group ruthlessly reeled him in before overtaking him with 2.1km to go, denying Soler a maiden Dauphine stage win.

With less than 400m to go, Roglic made his move and suddenly flew up the inside past Jorgenson and Basque rider Oier Lazkano.

Soudal-Quick Step's Evenepoel was dropped by the peloton with 7km to go as he finished 13th and slipped to sixth in the general ranking.

Belgian Ilan Van Wilder and Latvian Emils Liepins were both forced to pull out early in the stage due to injury, as Thursday's mass fall continued to impact the Dauphine.


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