CHAMPERY, Switzerland (AP) — Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang won the Critérium du Dauphiné race for the second time after keeping his overnight lead in Sunday’s final stage.
The 2017 champion finished 20 seconds ahead of American rider Tejay van Garderen and 0:21 clear of Emanuel Buchmann of Germany in the standings.
British rider Adam Yates, who was eight seconds behind Fuglang in second place overnight, pulled out with sickness with some 50 kilometers (31 miles) to go on the 113.5-kilometer (70.4-mile) trek from Cluses — in the high mountains of the Savoie region — to Champery in Switzerland.
Several riders were affected by heavy winds and chilly conditions. The 34-year-old Fuglsang was pleasantly surprised at how he ended up winning.
“I was expecting the day to be even harder than it eventually happened to be, but my team controlled it in a perfect way from the beginning,” the Astana rider said. “For me, it was a jump in a limousine until the finish.”
Victory on stage 8 went to Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle, who narrowly beat Jack Haig of Australia. It was Haig who launched an attack some 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the end, only for Van Baarle to catch him and beat him to the line in a sprint finish.
Van Baarle is a Team Ineos teammate of four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, whose race ended dramatically on Wednesday when he hit the wall of a house during a training session ahead of a time trial.
Froome is recovering following a six-hour operation after being airlifted from Roanne to Saint-Etienne hospital. The 34-year-old Froome broke his right femur, elbow and several ribs and has been ruled out of the Tour, which starts July 6 in Brussels.
Fuglsang is feeling confident heading into the showcase race.
“I’m looking forward to it. I think I’m on the right way. Up to now it’s been a fantastic season for me,” he said. “I hope it can get even better. Everything seems to come really easy and perfect, with no stress. The whole Astana team is riding super strong this year.”
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