Macon - German
youngster Phil Bauhaus won a bunch sprint ahead of stunned French duo
Arnaud Demare and Bryan Coquard in the fifth stage of the Criterium du
Dauphine at Macon on Thursday.
The flat stage precedes three days in the mountains where the form of
Tour de France favourites Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Richie
Porte will be scrutinised on some iconic climbs.
Belgium's Thomas De Gendt of Lotto retains the overall lead ahead of
Porte and Alejandro Valverde with Froome and Contador both close behind.
The 22-year-old Bauhaus got his nose ahead after a long, nervous last 2km with the peloton bunched.
"I had a good shot at a stage win on Monday, I felt good and had two teammates leading me in," he said.
It was the biggest win so far for Bauhaus who looks set to follow a
long list of German sprinting stars such as Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel
and John Degenkolb.
"To be compared to them I'll have to win a lot more," said Bauhaus who lives near Greipel and often trains alongside him.
De Gendt, who has held the yellow jersey since day one, expects to lose his lead.
"It will probably be over for me but you never know," said the Belgian rider who has just a 27 second lead on Porte.
"I think he's the best climber in the world now," said French rider
Romain Bardet of Porte as the climbers now prepare to make up lost time
from Wednesday's time-trial.
Defending champion Froome is just 1:04 behind the leader
heading into Friday's stage which features the beyond category Mont du
Chat climb, which will also be on the Tour de France, where the finish
line is at the end of a treacherous descent to the bottom of the
Results and standings after the fifth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, a 175.5km flat run to Macon on Thursday:
1. Phil Bauhaus (GER/SUN), 175.5km inn 4hrs 04min 32sec, 2. Arnaud Dmare (FRA/FDJ) same time, 3. Bryan Coquard (FRA/DEN) s.t., 4. Adrien Petit (FRA/DEN) s.t., 5. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/COF) s.t., 6. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) s.t., 7. Pascal Ackermann (GER/BOR) s.t., 8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/DDT) s.t., 9. Enrico Battaglin (ITA/LNL) s.t., 10. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) s.t.
1. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LOT) 17hrs 10min 25sec, 2. Richie Porte (AUS/BMC) at 27sec, 3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 51, 4. Stef Clement (NED/LNL) 55, 5. Alberto Contador (ESP/TRE) 1:02, 6. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 1:04, 7. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC) 1:12, 8. Jesus Herrada (ESP/MOV) 1:15, 9. Sam Oomen (NED/SUN) 1:17, 10. Diego Ulissi (ITA/EAU) 1:22