"It’s all starting to sink in" - Derek Gee solidifies career-defining performance to secure podium finish at Criterium du Dauphine 2024

With all the pre-Criterium du Dauphine debate about whether Chris Froome or Michael Woods would get Tour de France leadership for Israel - Premier Tech, Derek Gee has soundly ended the debate with a sensational podium performance at the prestigious French stage race.

“I think all week I was nervous, waiting for the legs to give out,” Gee reflects post-stage to the official website of the Israel - Premier Tech team, still somewhat in disbelief about his achievements. “After the line I was suffering so much I couldn’t enjoy it but now, it’s all starting to sink in. There will be a lot of reflection after this. Right now I am just enjoying it as it is. But, it’s been really cool."

Even on the final stage Gee impressed, finishing 3rd and dropping the likes of Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel on the summit finish. “I was suffering on the final climb but as soon as I saw Roglic get dropped I thought 'maybe I have good legs today' so I gave it a shot," he details of the final climb. "Matteo Jorgenson said he was on the limit and couldn’t pull through and pulled off and then I was immediately on the limit. Carlos Rodriguez and Jorgenson rode away and I couldn’t do anything about that but I was really happy with the legs.”

“This whole week has been a nice surprise,” added Israel - Premier Tech sports director, Daryl Impey. “Coming into the Critérium du Dauphiné, we believed Derek could do a decent GC result here but he exceeded expectations. Purely because of the hard work he has been putting in prior to this, working hard at camp, but not just him, the whole team. It was great to see everyone rise up and everyone came in with good condition from training camp, they wanted to be there, they believed in themselves, and they believed in the team. We were one of the only teams with four guys left in the end there today so it shows the depth we have in the team and how we are growing.”

“A podium in one of the biggest stage races before one of the most important races of the season is a clear indication of Derek’s abilities and we look forward to seeing what he can do down the line,” added Impey. “But first, we’re really happy with this podium and we will enjoy the success. With a stage win, wearing the yellow jersey, and a GC podium, we have exceeded our expectations here and we really rode to this group’s potential.”

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