- Criterium du Dauphine, Stage One
Evans storms to stage victory; Wiggins takes race lead
Cadel Evans showed his class with a perfectly-timed sprint to win Stage One of the Criterium du Dauphine, while Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins rose to the top of the standings in the General Classification.
Leading Jérôme Coppel and Andrey Kashechkin into the final kilometre of the 187km stage from Seyssins to Saint-Vallier, Evans launched his attack at just the right time to outsprint his rivals.
A six-man group made an early break and quickly established a 13-minute lead. However, slowly but surely the peloton reeled them in and, as they started the day's final climb with about 12km to go, only four riders remained in the breakaway.
Markel Irizar pushed ahead to take the lead, but the Spaniard was caught with 5km to go. Saur-Sojasun's Coppel made his move on the descent, taking Evans and Kashechkin with him, and the trio were soon fighting it out between them for top honours. It was the Australian who powered to glory, holding off a determined Coppel at the finish line.
Wiggins, who came second behind Luke Durbridge in Sunday's prologue, took a slender one-second lead in the GC as yellow jersey holder Durbridge was dropped. There was worrying news for 2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck, as he too was dropped.
Stage One result
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) Bmc Racing Team - 4:36:21
2 Jérôme Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
3 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
4 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Fdj-Bigmat - 0:00:04
5 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Radioshack-Nissan
6 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
7 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
8 Julien Simon (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
9 Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling - 4:43:04
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Bmc Racing Team - 0:00:01
3 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team - 0:00:02
4 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
5 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step - 0:00:04