Poels storms to queen stage victory

15 Jun 2019

Poels storms to queen stage victory

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Wout Poels secured a dramatic late victory in the pouring rain on the Queen stage of the Criterium du Dauphine to move up to fifth overall.

Poels had been working as part of an elite chase group trying to bridge the gap to leaders Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) as the pair had a narrow advantage towards the end of the final climb.

And while the gap was slowly dwindling, it looked as through the duo would stay away until the Dutchman decided to attack the GC group in the last kilometre, catch Fuglsang and Buchmann with just 250 metres to go and powering past them to earn his first stage win of the season. 

The result moves Poels up to fifth overall, just 28 seconds behind new race leader Fuglsang, who took the yellow jersey from Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), ahead of Sunday’s final stage. 
Earlier, Dylan van Baarle and Gianni Moscon had kick-started the tactical plan by joining a very strong 22-rider breakaway in the opening kilometres, allowing teammates Poels and Michal Kwiatkowski to be absolved of chase duties.

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) was the GC threat in the break, which forced Mitchelton-Scott to work hard to reduce the deficit throughout the stage, and he kickstarted the attacks in the final 35km.

This dramatically reduced the size of escape group , which left Moscon and Van Baarle to return to a select bunch behind to assist with the chase before Kwiatkowski attacked and bridged to Lutsenko and Michael Woods (EF Education First).

Again, this forced Poels’ rivals to react to bring the trio back into contention and the Dutch rider was able to wait for his moment and after Kwiatkowski was caught, Fuglsang and Buchmann forged ahead until Poels was able to catch and surpass them to record Team INEOS’ 10th win of the season. 
Wout Poels

Wout Poels

Going into the final kilometre it was a case of now or never and I gave everything."

- Wout Poels

"I attacked a few times and [the GC group] didn't let me go, then going into the final kilometre it was a case of now or never and I gave everything. I am normally quite good in the bad weather - maybe the best way to keep warm is to pedal faster! For some reason I always seem to go well in bad weather. 

"It was hard to see what happened to Chris, obviously I was behind it when it happened, it gave me a little bit more motivation as he should be the leader, but then I had to take over. It’s really nice for the team to get a nice win and and it’s a gift for Chris. 

"I felt pretty strong all day. The team did an amazing job. 500 metres before the line, I thought it would be difficult to catch the two guys away but in the last corner I came and just round over them. It’s very nice to win here.”
"One day to go, the legs are good so I’ll give it a good try to go for the overall win, bt Fuglsang has been really good all year, he looks strong and he has a really good chance.”

Watch the final kilometre of the stage. 
Wout Poels wins stage seven

Wout Poels wins stage seven

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Overall standings

1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) 27:36:40"
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +8"
3. Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First) +20"
4. Emmanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +21"
5. Wout Poels (Team INEOS) +28"