Christophe Laporte wins in thrilling finale to stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné

Christophe Laporte has taken victory on the opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné and will as such take to the startline tomorrow in the leader's jersey, edging out the breakaway's Rune Herregodts at the very last.

The opening stage of the French race will be a hilly day, very open where several types of riders can succeed. A short and explosive stage taking place at high altitude with 2700 meters of climbing in a day that isn't exactly suited to any particular type of rider.

Hoping it would be a breakaway success were five riders, the most notable of whom was Brabantse Pijl winner Dorian Godon.

Whilst INEOS Grenadiers were trying to control the breakaway, their sprint hope, Ethan Hayter crashed twice and was forced to abandon the race.

Then with around 50km to go, the heavens opened and what had been a relatively nice day weather-wise, suddenly turned into brutal downpours.

Donavan Grondin was the first rider to struggle from the breakaway and with around 44km to go the leading group dropped down to four riders.

With Hayter having abandoned plus Dylan Groenewegen and Sam Bennett being dropped on the penultimate climb, any hopes for the pure sprinters were seemingly done and dusted.

Rune Herregodts was the last man standing from the breakaway and an extremely brave effort from the Intermarché-Circus-Wanty rider meant he maintained a 15-second lead with 2km to go.

Heartbreakingly though for Herregodts, the Jumbo-Visma led peloton swallowed up with the line in touching distance as Christophe Laporte took the victory.

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