David Veilleux of Europcar took the spoils on a short-but-tough stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphiné, attacking from the gun to spend a day in the lead and tomorrow in the leader's jersey.
Veilleux was joined by Thomas Damuseau (Argos - Shimano), Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne - Séché) and Ricardo Garcia (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and the quertet quickly built up a big lead; with 40km covered their advantage was over ten minutes. Tony Martin (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) went off the front of the peloton in an attampt to bridge and put his time trialling skills to good use, quickly riding to within a few minutes of the leaders.
Over the first-category Col du Corbier the lead group splintered and Veilleux struck out alone, leaving Damuseau and Garcia behind and Bideau, caught by Martin, further down the road. As the distance to the finish decreased it looked increasingly likely that Veilleux would have the legs to stay out, and so it proved. The Canadian took the tape in Champery almost two minutes up on the main field, which had caught the rest of the escapees on the final climb. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma - Quickstep) took second ahead of the bunch led by Tom Jelte Slagter.
1. VEILLEUX David TEAM EUROPCAR 3h 17' 35" 2. MEERSMAN Gianni OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP +1' 56" 3. SLAGTER Tom Jelte BLANCO PRO CYCLING TEAM +1' 57" 4. PORTE Richie SKY PROCYCLING st 5. FROOME Christopher SKY PROCYCLING 6. MADRAZO Angel MOVISTAR TEAM 7. FUGLSANG Jakob ASTANA PRO TEAM 8. VALVERDE Alejandro MOVISTAR TEAM 9. GALLOPIN Tony RADIOSHACK LEOPARD 10. KONIG Leopold TEAM NETAPP-ENDURA 11. CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 12. VICHOT Arthur FDJ 13. BARGUIL WARREN TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 14. ROGERS Michael TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 15. BAGOT Yoann COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS 16. VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen LOTTO-BELISOL 17. SANCHEZ Samuel EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 18. KOREN Kristijan CANNONDALE 19. IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 20. TAARAMAE Rein COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.