After three attempts by Alessandro De Marchi, who was part of the day’s main breakaway on previous stages, it was Rosskopf who went clear on stage seven, making it into a large group of over 20 riders that established a two-minute lead over the bunch.
On the descent of the category one climb, Col de L’Epine, two riders attacked from the leading group opening a one-minute lead over the chasers but, the group, including CCC Team’s American rider, was able to pull them back on another category one ascent, the Col de Marcieu.
This was also the point when it started to rain and shortly after, another duo tried to make a move before a few other riders bridged to the front, with Rosskopf chasing in the second group on the descent.
On the hors catégorie climb, Montee de Pipay, racing conditions worsened and the weather was steadily taking its toll on the riders. Rosskopf eventually sat up before being caught by the reduced peloton 14 kilometers from the summit and finishing the stage in 33rd place, over seven minutes behind the winner, Wout Poels (Team INEOS).
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“It was one of those days that will stick out in your memory but, for maybe wrong reasons. The weather in the final made racing very hard. We were wet and cold and already tired after having climbed three category one ascents. I felt quite good but, we had some really good climbers in the breakaway and when they launched their attacks I was not able to respond.”
“Overall, it was good to be in that group and since I had nothing to lose, I decided to give it a go. The breakaway was quite large and we needed to be present up the road. In the end, it turned out to be a GC day but efforts like this, in these conditions, help you grow as a rider and it was a good test of form coming into July.”
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 7: Saint-Genix-les-Villages>Pipay (133km)
Top 3: 1. Wout Poels (Team INEOS) 2. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) 3. Emanuel Buchmann (BORA – hansgrohe)
CCC Team Top 3: 33. Joey Rosskopf 58. Serge Pauwels 63. Paweł Bernas