Schär was part of an initial eight-rider breakaway that went clear almost as soon as the flag dropped and quickly opened up an advantage that quickly settled at around the three-minute mark with the GC teams wanting to keep control of proceeding in anticipation of the fight to come.
Throughout his time at the front of the race, the Swiss rider was able to add to his tally of KOM points on the first three categorized climbs, including taking maximum points on the category one Côte Maillet, where he was just one of two remaining race leaders.
Eventually, after securing enough points to remain in the blue and white polka dot jersey for a second day, Schär sat up and slotted back into the peloton alongside teammates Fausto Masnada and Víctor de la Parte on the lower slopes of the Col de Porte, which would soon play host to a tough battle for stage honors.
After the final rider from the breakaway, Bruno Armirail (Groupama – FDJ), was caught inside the final 10 kilometers of the 135-kilometer stage, CCC Team’s de la Parte decided to push off the front of the reduced bunch but with no one following his move, the Spaniard was forced to hang just a few seconds ahead before ultimately being pulled back.
de la Parte and Masnada both remained in the 30-rider group going into the final kilometers but eventually, the steep gradients of the 17.5-kilometer climb, which reached over 10 percent in places, mixed with the intense pace being set at the front saw the duo lose contact with the field.
In the end, it was Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo – Visma) who took the stage honors and moved into the overall lead of the race while for the second day in a row Masnada was the first rider across the line for CCC Team.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I had the jersey so at the start of the day I thought that it would be good to try to do something again and to be active in the race, I like that approach more than just coming and sitting at the back of the bunch. I was on the front line and so I was able to make a good attack and make the breakaway. One guy started to race with me for the KOM points and he took the maximum points on the first climb but then I said to myself on the next one and on the first category one that I would make a good tempo and try to drop him. That happened so I was able to then secure another day in the jersey which is a nice little reward. We were then only two in front going onto the last climb but it was a really hard one but it was good to be out there again and to keep trying.”
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 2: Vienne > Col de Porte (135km)
Top 3: 1. Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo – Visma) 2. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ) 3. Emanuel Buchmann (BORA – hansgrohe)
CCC Team Top 3: 30. Víctor de la Parte 41. Fausto Masnada 53. Will Barta