Alex Aranburu comes close to Critérium du Dauphiné stage win
A nail-biting finish to Critérium du Dauphiné stage 3 saw Alex Aranburu sprint to second place on the uphill finish in Saint-Haon-Le-Vieux, after being caught with 100 metres to go by Sonny Colbrelli.
“The last kilometre was pretty crazy. It was pretty tough. We all went two by two from each team so it was not organized at all. I was going from one side to the other to try and catch some wheels. I saw I was a little ahead so I decided to start my sprint because in the first two stages I was closed in a bit in the sprints. When I saw the opportunity, I went for it but I came up a bit short in the last stretch,” said Aranburu.
After a relatively quiet stage, the last of the two breakaway riders were caught with 22 kilometres to go, as the peloton battled for positioning heading into the finale.
Aranburu was well positioned by his teammates as the fast pace saw splits in the bunch and despite sitting outside of the top 20 riders approaching the flamme rouge, Aranburu showed his skill to surf from wheel to wheel and move up inside the final kilometre.
With the finish line in sight, Aranburu launched his sprint with 250 metres to go and immediately had a gap but Colbrelli was able to jump on his wheel and with 100 metres to go, come around the Basque rider to take the win.
Aranburu’s second place is his third consecutive top ten result in the opening three stages and sees him sit in third place on the General Classification, 18 seconds behind race leader Lukas Pöstlberger.
“My legs are good though. After the altitude camp in Teide I had some doubts but the truth is I am feeling better day by day so I’m happy. Tomorrow we have the time trial, then we have some hard stages in the mountains and we have to be strong for the General Classification. I think we will have to work hard but we will see what happens with breakaways too,” added Aranburu.
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 3: Langeac > Saint-Haon-Le-Vieux (172.2km)
Top 3: 1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious), 2. Alex Aranburu (Astana – Premier Tech), 3. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates)
Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 2. Alex Aranburu, 13. Ion Izagirre, 34. Alexey Lutsenko
Photo: Getty Sport