The 2009Ã‚Â CritÃƒÂ©ruim du DauphinÃƒÂ© LibÃƒÂ©rÃƒÂ© is underway. This annual 8 stage road race is held in France and is an important race leading up to the Tour De France in July. Because of its mountainous stages it is often won by a climbing specialist.Ã‚Â
Interesting note: Every rider to have won the Tour de France 5 or more times has also won the DauphinÃƒÂ© LibÃƒÂ©rÃƒÂ©. Including Lance Armstrong in 2002 and 2003.
So far this year we are three stages in. Here’s a quick recap.
Stage 1 was short fast time trial. Tour de France favorite Cadel Evans won the time trial with Ablerto Contador only 7 seconds behind him.
Stage 2 started with 5 riders breaking away from theÃ‚Â pelotonÃ‚Â to gain a 6 minute advantage. That lead quickly turned into 10 minutes as theÃ‚Â pelotonÃ‚Â was stopped by two crossing trains. Not a bad strategy. Ultimately they were unable to hold their lead (which is to be expected when you break away withÃ‚Â 228 kmÃ‚Â left in aÃ‚Â 228 kmÃ‚Â stage) and as it began to rain in the last leg of the stage, the final leader was caught. Although the sprinters gave it their all just for the glory, 139 of the 149 riders crossed the line together.Ã‚Â
Stage 3 also had a 5 rider break away early in the stage. Fortunately for this break they only had to survive aboutÃ‚Â 149 kmÃ‚Â on their own. They were able to hold their lead with Niki Terpstra taking 1st place. Known for his unsuccessful attempts at breakaways, this was a big win for Terpstra.Ã‚Â “I’ve tried to win a race by breaking away so many times, it’s a relief to finally make it,” said the 25-year-old Terpstra. “I can’t say it’s a dream come true but for sure this is the best win of my career so far.”
CadelÃ‚Â EvansÃ‚Â lost the yellowÃ‚Â JerseyÃ‚Â to Terpstra and is now a minute behind. His team, Silence- Lotto, is two riders short. One out with a fever and another with knee pain. Evan’s said things are still going well for him and that he will stay focused.
Tomorrow’s stage 4 is another individual time trial. This one being three and half times longer than the first. We’ll keep you posted.