The leader of the UCI Individual Classification Ranking finished third on the fifth day of the race.
Rémi Cavagna is definitely one of the unsung heroes of this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné. The 22-year-old’s strenuous work for Deceuninck – Quick-Step since the start of the race was a thing of beauty, a selfless commitment that saw Rémi put himself in the services of the team leaders on a daily basis, either by going into the break and paving the way for Julian Alaphilippe to win a quintet of classified climbs, or by spending an enormous amount of time at the front of the peloton, eating kilometers and chewing into the escapees’ gap.
Most recently, the “TGV of Clermont-Ferrand” showed his undeniable skills of “breakaway killer” on stage five of the race, the second-longest at this edition (201 kilometers), where unperturbed by the rolling parcours between Boën-sur-Lignon and Voiron or the crosswinds that threatened to shatter the bunch to pieces, he gradually reduced the leading trio’s advantage, before finally peeling off the front inside the last ten kilometers.
That allowed Philippe Gilbert to launch a daring attack under the flamme rouge kite, which was shut down with only 500 meters to go. That didn’t mean it was over for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, as Julian Alaphilippe navigated through the chaotic pack on the tricky uphill drag to the line and sprinted to his first podium since returning to competition last Sunday, behind Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe).
Alaphilippe was one of the three Wolfpack members to conclude the stage in the upper part of the classification, alongside Zdenek Stybar (7th) and Philippe Gilbert, who despite being reabsorbed, still had enough left to sprint and get ninth.
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