Alexis Vuillermoz has just hit a new career high by winning the second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné cycling road race and claiming the leader’s yellow jersey. Read on for highlights of this breathtaking day.
Breakaway Leaves the Pack Behind
It took motivation and boldness to head to the front of the race today. Six riders tried their luck and took part in the breakaway between Saint-Péray and Brives-Charensac. Out in front at kilometer 18 were Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X), Anthony Delaplace (Arkea-Samsic), Xandres Verloesem (Lotto-Soudal), Kevin Vermaercke (DSM) and Alexis Vuillermoz. They widened their lead to 4’40” before Jumbo-Visma decided to swing into action.
The pack moved closer on the way up to the Mézilhac pass and at Mont Gerbier de Jonc. Despite support from Education First and Ineos Grenadiers, yellow jersey wearer Wout van Aert’s team was unable to catch up with the front-runners, who had a 1’35” lead with 30 kilometers left. There was hope for the breakaway group.
Alexis Vuillermoz Is Boss
The distance between the breakaway group and the pack shrank as the kilometers flew by. The five riders left at the front continued to believe and doubled down. Their cooperation was rewarded as they passed the last kilometer flag with a 20″ advance – enough to fight for a stage win. The riders poured everything they had left into the final meters. Alexis Vuillermoz had the most and came away with his first victory under the TotalEnergies banner. It was pure magic.
Twice as Nice
In winning the second stage, Alexis Vuillermoz benefited from the time bonus and 5″ lead over the main group to capture the yellow jersey from Wout van Aert. What’s more he was recognized by the public with the prize for the most combative rider. What a day!
An Emotion-Filled Reaction
Alexis Vuillermoz hadn’t come out on top since the Drôme Classic race in March 2019. This new success was even more meaningful, coming as it did after his serious injury during the Tour of Switzerland.
“It’s amazing! After two years of hardship and a fractured pelvis, I could have put an end to my career, but despite everything, I wanted to come back. I didn’t really think it possible today, but I saw the break begin and the team wasn’t in front, so I decided to go, because I could. I wanted to have a good time, and luck was with me. Still, it wasn’t all fun and games up front, but I pulled through when it was my turn. I thought the pack would catch up, but we just kept going without overthinking it. That was the right move, because when you’re in front, you’ve got to fight to the finish. When Olivier launched the sprint, I didn’t think I’d be able to come back, but he got stuck a little bit at the 50 meters. I went for it and was afraid someone would come up from behind, but it worked. I’ve never had a special jersey. It’s great, though it will be hard to keep it tomorrow when we get to Chastreix-Sancy.”