Belgium’s Wout van Aert (Jumbo) took the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in the sprint on Sunday in Beauchastel and took the yellow leader’s jersey.
The Belgian champion was ahead of the British Ethan Hayter and the young American Sean Quinn (22 years old) after the 191.8 kilometers of this stage run entirely in Ardeche.
The massive sprint was deprived of several specialists (Groenewegen, Bauhaus, Molano) behind in the last hill, approaching the last 30 kilometers, following the forcing of the Trek team.
The breakaway of three riders (Rolland, Bouet, Huys), formed from the first hour, ended in this climb, preceding a final downhill on the road alternating dry and wet and then the last 15 kilometers on the flat.
The 27-year-old van Aert scored his fourth stage success at the Dauphine. Winner of the Het Nieuwsblad and the E3 Classic, the Belgian now has 34 victories.
On Monday, the second stage, with a more selective route, connects Saint-Péray (Ardèche) to Brives-Charensac (Haute-Loire) over 169.8 kilometers.
Classification of the 1st stage of the Criterium du Dauphine:
1. Wout van Aert (BEL/Jumbo), the 191.8 km in 4 h 37:31.
2. Ethan Hayter (GBR/INE) m.t.
3. Sean Quinn (USA/FY1) m.t.
4. Hugo Page (FRA/INT) m.t.
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/TEN) m.t.
6. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TRE) m.t.
7. Clément Venturini (FRA/AG2) m.t.
8. Maxim Van Gils (BEL/LOT) m.t.
9. Benjamin Thomas (FRA/COF) m.t.
10. Jannik Steimle (GER/QST) m.t.
22. Tobias Johannessen (NOT/UNO) m.t.
30. Primoz Roglic (SLO/JUM) m.t.
31. Brandon McNulty (USA/UAE) m.t.
41. Eddie Dunbar (IRL/INE) m.t.
43. O’Connor (AUS/AG2) m.t.
44. Aurélien Paret-Peintre (FRA/AG2) m.t.
46. Rémi Cavagna (FRA/QST) m.t.