Derek Gee refuses to be denied in thrilling finish to stage 3 of 2024 Criterium du Dauphine

So often the bridesmaid, Derek Gee has sprinted to victory in the uphill finale to stage 3 of the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine, refusing to be denied in a thrilling finish.

There was some early drama before the cameras even started rolling on stage as Primoz Roglic got himself caught up in an early crash. Although there was seemingly no lasting damage to the BORA - hansgrohe leader, it was some added stress that he could have easily done without.

Once the breakaway formed, a trio of Nicolas Prudhomme (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team), Harry Sweeny (EF Education - EasyPost) and Remy Rochas (Groupama - FDJ) getting themselves clear of a peloton being controlled by the team of race leader Magnus Cort Nielsen, Uno-X Mobility.

With just under 40km to go, the gap between peloton and breakaway was under a minute. Sensing an opportunity, Team Jayco AlUla's Christopher Juul-Jensen attacked from the main group and quickly managed to bridge the gap. French National Champion Valentin Madouas also made an attack. After he was stuck in No Man's Land for some time however, the Groupama - FDJ man eventually dropped back to the peloton.

With around 25km to go, there was a scary moment for Team Jayco AlUla's leader, Chris Harper, as the Australian was left bloodied by a crash on a small, brick-built bridge. In his first race back since crashing out of the Tour of the Alps, this incident thankfully wasn't race-ending for Harper, but he was nevertheless, left bloodied as he returned to the peloton.

After the breakaway were bolstered by the legs of Juul-Jensen, the leaders upped the pace. Sadly for Rochas, the Frenchman couldn't match that pace increase, but nevertheless, the gap to the peloton was being held at between 50 seconds and a minute. When Mads Pedersen started doing a pull on the front for Lidl-Trek with just over 7km to go however, the gap began to come down under half a minute.

Finally, with 2.5km to go the breakaway were reeled in. There was still much action to come though with a steep and punchy uphill finale. With just over 800m to go, Krists Neilands launched the first attack although he was quickly caught. The next move was another Israel - Premier Tech man though, Derek Gee. At the line it looked like Romain Gregoire had taken the victory but Gee fired back again to take the stage.

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