Paris - British road race champion Peter Kennaugh held off a fast-finishing
group of riders to clinch the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine at
Albertville on Sunday.
The 25-year-old - like sprint great Mark
Cavendish born in the Isle of Man - pounced 2km from the end of a
131.5km ride shortly after a long break had been reeled in after eight
low category hills, one of them just 12km from Albertville.
the kind of power that saw him crowned British champion in 2014, he was
able to break away from and then hold off and win by two seconds from
Sacha Modolo of Italy and Norwegian sprinter Edvald Boasson Hagen and
the rest of a fast approaching mini-peloton.
"I waited until 2.5km
out because I knew that was how long I could maintain the necessary
effort," said Kennaugh, who hopes to now be selected for Sky's upcoming
Tour de France team.
Kennaugh, a 2012 Olympic pursuit champion,
pulled on the overall leader's yellow and blue jersey which he'll wear
in Monday's second of eight stages, a 173km ride featuring two hard
"Chris (Froome, Sky's team leader) is here to win," said
Kennaugh, harbouring no illusions about his place in the pecking order.
race is loaded with star names as Vincenzo Nibali and Froome, the last
two winners of the Tour de France and others fine tune their fitness for
July's latest edition of the world's most famous cycling race.
Results from Sunday's opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, a 131.5km ride between Ugine and Albertville:
Peter Kennaugh (GBR/SKY) 3hrs 06min 51sec, 2. Sacha Modolo (ITA/LAM) at
02sec, 3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/MTN) same time, 4. Tiesj Benoot
(BEL/LOT) s.t., 5. Simon Gerrans (AUS/ORI) s.t., 6. Nacer Bouhanni
(FRA/COF) s.t., 7. Jay McCarthy (AUS/TIN) s.t., 8. Alejandro Valverde
(ESP/MOV) s.t., 9. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA/ALM) s.t, 10. Cyril Gautier
1. Peter Kennaugh (GBR/SKY) 3hrs
06min 41sec, 2. Sacha Modolo (ITA/LAM) at 06sec, 3. Edvald Boasson Hagen
(NOR/MTN) at 08sec, 4. Tiesj Benoot (BEL/LOT) 12sec, 5. Simon Gerrans
(AUS/ORI) same time, 6. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/COF) s.t., 7. Jay McCarthy
(AUS/TIN) s.t., 8. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) s.t., 9. Samuel Dumoulin
(FRA/ALM) s.t., 10. Cyril Gautier (FRA/EUC) s.t., 11. Wilco Kelderman
(NED/LNL) s.t., 12. Yannick Martinez (FRA/EUC) s.t., 13. Tobias
Ludvigsson (SWE/GIA) s.t., 14. Jarlinson Pantano (COL/IAM) s.t., 15.
Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/ETI) s.t., 16. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) s.t., 17.
Tony Gallopin (FRA/LOT) s.t., 18. Lawson Craddock (USA/GIA) s.t., 19.
Jos Mendes (POR/BOA) s.t., 20. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) s.t.
Tony Martin (GER/ETI) at 12sec, 35. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) s.t., 42.
Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) s.t., 54. Andrew Talansky (USA/CAN) s.t., 69.
Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t., 73. Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA/ALM)