"The time trial doesn’t lie and he is extremely disappointed” - David Gaudu collapses out of GC contention at the Dauphine with over four minute ITT time loss

Although David Gaudu has never been regarded as an expert in the individual time-trial, the Frenchman's performance on stage 4 of the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine was still markedly poor.

Clocking the 54th fastest time, Gaudu ended the day losing a grand total of 4:07 to the eventual stage winner, Remco Evenepoel and as a result, falling completely out of general classification contention. “It was a very difficult course,” reflected the Groupama - FDJ coach, Julien Pinot to the team's official website post-stage. “The first part was quite flat. However, the second part included two long, slightly uphill sections, quite irregular, where you had to push hard constantly.”

As mentioned, Gaudu is far from an expert against the clock, but with the Tour de France just weeks away and the 27-year-old making very public announcements of his intentions to ride for the podium at the coming Grand Tour, showing such a shaky performance is a slightly worrying sign for both the rider and his team.

“David is not a time specialist, and on top of that, he wasn’t particularly having a super day,” adds Groupama - FDJ sports director Benoît Vaugrenard. “He simply paid for it. On this kind of time trial, you need to have a great day just to limit the losses with the best, so if you don’t feel very good, you obviously pay the high price. That’s what happened to David. We realized that he was struggling in the final, he couldn’t accelerate on the uphill sections. The time trial doesn’t lie, the day’s legs do the talking, and he is extremely disappointed.”

“We are not going to draw out an assessment today, we will do it on Sunday,” Vaugrenard concludes. “Tomorrow, it should be a sprint, but we never know. We’ll have to be careful at the start. Then, we will have three very difficult days, in the high mountains, with very difficult climbs. The weekend won’t lie either”.

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