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Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1: Van den Broeck storms to win, Vino in race lead

Omega Pharma-Lotto rider launches himself to victory on day's final climb...

Jurgen Van den Broeck of Omega Pharma-Lotto launched a storming solo attack on the day's final climb to clinch today's Stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. Joaquin Rodriguez of Katusha crossed six seconds later to secure second place, with former world champion Cadel Evans of BMC Racing third. Alexander Vinokourov of Astana was fourth and takes the overall lead.

Van den Broeck's buccaneering attack would no doubt have been enjoyed on television by team mate Philippe Gilbert - the Classics specialist isn't riding this race, but his compatriot's ride to victory was very much in keeping with the kind of attack that has brought Gilbert himself so much success in one day races.

After a number of attacks failed to stick in the early part of today's 144-kilometre stage, a trio of escapees finally managed to get away 20 kilometres after the start in the former Winter Olympic host town of Albertville.

The break comprised the Belgian rider Sven Vandousselaere of Omega Pharma-Lotto, Colombia's Leonardo Duque, in the colours of Cofidis, and Frenchman Vincent Jérôme from Europcar.

At one point, the three breakaway riders had managed to establish a lead of around five and a half minutes, but with Rabobank forcing the pace at the front of the peloton as they sought to protect the overall lead of Lars Boom, winner of yesterday's Prologue, the escape was doomed to failure and the escapees were caught with a little under 10km to go.

Their bid to defend Boom's yellow jersey would prove unsucessful, however, with the Dutch rider, who had admitted to carrying a knee injury even before the Proologue, fading in the latter stages.

Previously, the three escapees had between them swept up the mountains classification points on offer on the two Category 4 and one Category 3 climbs that featured on today's parcours, but it was on the day's final ascent, the Category 2 Montée de Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, that the stage would be decided.

French champion Thomas Voeckler of Europcar had said this morning that he planned to go on the attack, and twice tried to get clear, but it was to be Van Den Broeck who took the stage by the scruff of the neck, unzipped jersey flapping as he went off the front 4km out and flew away from the bunch to ride to victory.

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1 result 
2  RODRIGUEZ Joaquim      KATUSHA TEAM          + 00' 06"
3  EVANS Cadel            BMC RACING            + 00' 07"
4  VINOKOUROV Alexandre   ASTANA                + 00' 07"
5  ROCHE Nicolas          AG2R LA MONDIALE      + 00' 07"
6  HAGEN Edvald Boasson   SKY PROCYCLING        + 00' 07"
7  PINOT Thibaut          FDJ                   + 00' 13"
8  RUIJGH Rob             VACANSOLEIL-DCM       + 00' 13"
9  VOECKLER Thomas        EUROPCAR              + 00' 15"
10 BRAJKOVIC Janez        RADIOSHACK            + 00' 15"
11 WIGGINS Bradley        SKY PROCYCLING        + 00' 15"
12 HERMANS Ben            RADIOSHACK            + 00' 22"
13 ROLLAND Pierre         EUROPCAR              + 00' 23"
14 COSTA Rui              MOVISTAR              + 00' 25"
15 SANCHEZ Luis-Leon      RABOBANK              + 00' 25"
16 SIVTSOV Kanstantsin    HTC-HIGHROAD          + 00' 25"
17 SORENSEN Chris         SAXO BANK SUNGARD     + 00' 33"
18 KERN Christophe        EUROPCAR              + 00' 35"
19 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R LA MONDIALE      + 00' 35"
20 VANENDERT Jelle OMEGA  PHARMA-LOTTO          + 00' 53"

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall Standings after Stage 1 
1  VINOKOUROV Alexandre   ASTANA               3h 43' 09"
3  EVANS Cadel            BMC RACING            + 00' 07"
4  WIGGINS Bradley        SKY PROCYCLING        + 00' 11"
5  HAGEN Edvald Boasson   SKY PROCYCLING        + 00' 13"
6  ROCHE Nicolas          AG2R LA MONDIALE      + 00' 17"
7  BRAJKOVIC Janez        RADIOSHACK            + 00' 20"
8  RODRIGUEZ Joaquim      KATUSHA               + 00' 23"
9  PINOT Thibaut	  FDJ	                + 00' 24"
10 VOECKLER Thomas	  EUROPCAR	        + 00' 27"

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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