Canadian Cyclist


June 13/10 23:26 pm - Criterium du Dauphine: Stage 7 and Final GC

Posted by Editoress on 06/13/10

Team RadioShack’s Jani Brajkovic won the 62nd edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Sunday after eight stages and more than 1070K of racing. After taking the yellow jersey in the individual time trial in the third stage, Brajkovic never relinquished his hold on the race lead despite battling in the French Alps with Astana’s Alberto Contador. It was the biggest win of the 26-year old Slovenian time trial champion’s career.

The last stage produced a breakaway win for Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Professional Cycling Team) and was no threat to Brajkovic’s overall race lead. Contador took second with Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) claiming the third spot on the podium. It was in Saturday’s stage up the mythic Alpe d’Huez that Brajkovic sealed his win. With Contador needing to make up 1:41 to Brajkovic, the Spaniard set up a series of more than six attacks with 8K to go. Each attack was answered by Brajkovic pacing himself back to the wheel with laser-like focus coming from the Slovenian.

“Alberto tried a lot of times, but I was always able to respond,” said Brajkovic in Sallanches. “I’m not so sure that in one month it will be the case again. We have to admit that he was not yet in his super condition. This race was probably not a goal for him. On the other hand, we worked for it and everything went so perfectly. I had the good form, I had the luck on my side, the time trial suited me so well and the Team was really un-be-lie-va-ble. At no moment were things not under control. I never had to panic. I had all the time to enjoy this victory. If we didn’t lose Haimar Zubeldia in the first stage it would maybe have been even easier but Ben Hermans, Chris Horner, Markel Irizar, Geoffroy Lequatre, Sérgio Paulinho and Tomas Vaitkus, they were all incredible.”

Team Director Alain Gallopin assessed the final stage: “We controlled the race today. It went fine. The other contenders realized too that it would be hard to beat this strong Jani Brajkovic. Our Team did what it had to do and the atmosphere was great with our riders. When you take a look at the palmares of the Dauphiné, you will see that only big riders win this race. I think Jani made a big step today.”

“I agree,” said Team Manager Johan Bruyneel from Switzerland. “This victory will change a lot of things for Jani. First of all he was really the strongest rider in this race. He was 3rd in the prologue, he won the time trial and was the best uphill. He deserves this victory, but he deserves this too for all the previous work he did for this. I’ve worked almost six years with him. I know him as a rider who does everything to succeed in becoming a super professional rider. The only thing he sometimes missed was confidence in himself. This victory will change that. He showed his teammates he is worth working for. I see a nice future for Jani.”

“First I will take some rest,” concluded the overall winner of the Dauphiné. “I am excited and still motivated, but now I will take it easy for some days. I already have 50 race days on my calendar.“

Brajkovic is a former U23 time trial world champion (2004) and three-time military world champion and has devoted countless hours as a domestique prior to earning this prestigious career win.

Team RadioShack press release

Stage 7: Allevard-les-Bains to Sallanches, 148 km
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky 3:39:43
2 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Esp) Footon-Servetto at 0:27
3 Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team 0:32
4 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Francaise des Jeux 0:34
5 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia 0:40
6 Alberto Contador (Esp) Astana
7 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
9 Jérôme Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
10 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack all s.t.
DNF Dominique Rollin (Can) Cervelo Test Team
DNF Christian Meier (Can) Garmin-Transitions
Final GC
1 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack 28:06:28
2 Alberto Contador (Esp) Astana at 1:41
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) Team HTC-Columbia 2:41
4 Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 3:46
5 Jérôme Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun 4:17
6 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) BBOXBouygues Telecom 4:23
7 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale s.t.
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom 6:16
9 Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack 6:20
10 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Doimo 6:57


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