VAUJANY, France (AP) — Primoz Roglic warmed up for his Tour de France bid next month by winning the Criterium du Dauphine stage race for the first time on Sunday.
His Jumbo–Visma teammate Jonas Vingegaard won the eighth and final stage in the mountains. The pair crossed the line holding hands at the summit of the Plateau de Solaison, with Roglic allowing Vingegaard to nose his wheel in front to take the stage win.
Vingegaard placed 40 seconds behind Roglic in the overall standings, with Australian Ben O’Connor from the AG2R Citroen team finishing 1 minute, 41 seconds behind Roglic in third spot.
Jumbo–Visma worked brilliantly on the final climb, with Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk accelerating to split up the leading group.
This allowed his two teammates to pull clear on the final ascent of the 135-kilometer (84-mile) trek from Saint-Chaffrey to Vaujany, which included two mammoth climbs of 23 kilometers (14.3 miles) and 29 kilometers (18 miles) and a last climb of 5.7 kilometers (3.5 miles).
Roglic and Vingegaard were both credited with a time of 3 hours, 49 minutes, 20 seconds, with O’Connor trailing them by 15 seconds to finish the stage in third.
“The guys had everything under control from the start, it was a fast start. They were controlling all day,” the 32-year-old Roglic said. “Jonas was good on the last climb. We can be confident, some more work to do and we should be ready for the Tour.”
Roglic has won the past three Spanish Vuelta titles but he dramatically missed out on a Tour de France victory to fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar in 2020.
This year, Roglic also won the Paris-Nice stage race for the first time with a brilliant attack on the final stage.
“So finally I won some races in France, so it’s nice,” Roglic said.
Vingegaard was delighted with the manner of his stage win and the teamwork involved.
“We tried to drop everyone (on the climbs) and I think we can be very happy and proud,” Vingegaard said. “This is one of the greatest races in the world, to win a stage and finish in second place (overall) is great.”
The Dane will team up with Roglic again on the July 1-24 Tour. But the 25-year-old Vingegaard expects they will face a greater challenge.
“I think it will be hard for us to be 1-2 in the Tour, because there are so many GC (overall) contenders,” he said. “The competition will be harder.”
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