Van Aert Sprints to Criterium du Dauphine Stage 1 Victory
Jumbo Visma's Wout van Aert won the opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday after a hilly openig stage from La Vaulte Sur Rhone to Beauchastel, beating Ethan Hayter and Sean Quinn
Belgian champion Van Aert beat Britain’s Ethan Hayter of team Ineos and American Sean Quinn of EF in a bunch sprint on the opening stage across the Ardeche region.
With 6 miles to go, top sprinters including Dylan Groenewegen and Phil Bauhaus were distanced as the sprinters teams including Jumbo Visma ramped upped the pace.
Van Aert picked up 10 bonus seconds and pulled on the overall leader’s yellow jersey.
“This stage really suited me perfectly, and I’ve been working hard on my sprinting,” said Van Aert, who won a time-trial, a mountain stage and a sprint on the Champs Elysees on the 2021 Tour.
Van Aert appeared fresh and relaxed after a 20-day training camp through the Sierra Nevada. Van Aert said after winning the stage "I’ve recharged my batteries, I won’t be killing myself to protect the yellow jersey. I might go for another stage win, but I'm here to help teammate Primoz Roglic win the race”
This Dauphine is the final warm up for the Tour de France where the 27-year-old has said he will target the Green sprinters Jersey.
The second stage should be another battle between the breakaway and the sprinters on a stage that goes past the source of the river Loire, France’s longest river before a finish in Brives-Charensac, just outside the town of Le Puy en Velay. There’s climbing en route but often at a steady gradient.
VIDEO: 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1 Highlights
2022 Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1 Top 10
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4-37-31
2. Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
3. Sean Quinn (USA) EF Education-EasyPost
4. Hugo Page (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Clément Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën
8. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Thomas Benjamin (Fra) Cofidis
10. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl all at same time