Jun 07, 2023 at 5:01 PMUpdate: 12 minutes ago
Mikkel Bjerg won the fourth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Wednesday. The Danish helper of UAE Team Emirates was the fastest in a time trial over more than 31 kilometers. He was visibly moved by his first professional victory and took over the leader’s yellow jersey from Christophe Laporte.
Bjerg completed the time trial over rolling terrain from Cours to Belmont-de-la-Loire in 37 minutes and 28 seconds. This made the 24-year-old Dane twelve seconds faster than his compatriot Jonas Vingegaard, who finished second. The French specialist Rémi Cavagna (Soudal Quick-Step) finished third, 27 seconds behind Bjerg.
Vingegaard was still the fastest at the first measuring point. In the second part of the time trial, the Jumbo-Visma leader could not keep up that pace. His teammate Laporte also had to pay for a fast start. The Frenchman kept pace with Bjerg for some time, but collapsed. He conceded 1.50 at the finish and lost his yellow leader’s jersey.
In the general classification, Bjerg is twelve seconds ahead of Vingegaard, who uses the Dauphiné as a warm-up towards the Tour de France. Britain’s Fred Wright of Bahrain Victorious rode a great time trial and is now third in the standings, 34 seconds behind Bjerg.
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“So relieved to finally win”
For Bjerg it is the first victory of his professional career. In his junior days he was considered a gifted time trialist, so his victory cannot be called completely surprising. Bjerg was a loyal lieutenant of leader Tadej Pogacar in the previous two Tour de Frances. It is not yet known whether the Danish tempo executioner will also assist the Slovenian in the upcoming Tour de France.
The victory meant a lot to Bjerg. “I worked really hard for this,” said the Dane when his tears had dried. “I’m so relieved that I finally won for once. I feel like I’ve had so many chances to win something, but I never lived up to my own expectations. Even this morning I still doubted myself.”
The Critérium du Dauphiné lasts until Sunday. The next two stages are hilly. At the weekend, the riders head into the high mountains.
Time trial result
1. Mikkel Bjerg 37,2 Jonas Vingegaard +0.123. Remi Cavanagh +0.274. Fred Wright +0.345. Ben O’Connor +0.416. Felix Grossschartner +0,447. Rune Herregodts +0.548. Adam Yates +0.579. Nelson Oliveira +1.0210. Jonathan Castro +1.05