Valentin Ferron made a big splash on Friday with his win in the sixth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. It’s the first World Tour victory for our young rider.
A Must-Make Breakaway
The stage got off to a speedy start, shaped by multiple attacks to form the day’s breakaway. It wasn’t until 50 kilometers in that a group of seven riders managed to pull ahead on the way up the Grands Goulets. The breakaway featured six Frenchmen and one Italian: Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Warren Barguil (Arkea Samsic), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies) and Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).
Breakaway vs. Pack
The pack, led by the BikeExchange-Jayco, UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma teams, chased the breakaway, but the frontrunners were full of resources and had a 1’45” lead ten kilometers before the finish line. It seemed clear that one of them would be the stage victor.
Valentin Ferron Makes His Move
After an attack by Bouchard kept in check by Bagioli five kilometers before the finish line, a sprint among the six leaders was the most likely scenario. But Valentin Ferron had other plans. The Isère native took matters into his own hands at the last kilometer flag with a decisive attack that left the rest behind. Nothing was going to spoil his joy: at 24, Féfé took home the second victory of his career and his first Word Tour win.
Valentin Ferron: “A Very Satisfying Day”
“Every day you hope to win a race, but a World Tour stage is exceptional. I want to take it all in. You don’t get a lot of moments like this in a career. It’s a very satisfying day. We had a great breakaway, with solid riders up front. I knew I wouldn’t be the best in the final sprint. There was a slight pause and I spurted forward with everything I had until the finish line. And I got there first. It was great. It’s really a special feeling to win here. We’ll celebrate this victory tonight at the hotel. You can feel a new dynamic with the team this year; all the riders are committed and achieving good results. Two victories in a World Tour race is huge!”