Team Sky’s Dauphine hierarchy takes shape on first summit finish

After four stages in which the message of co-leadership had been preached, a true Team Sky hierarchy seemed to emerge on Thursday at the Critérium du Dauphiné in the space of less than a kilometre.

The British team, who had Michal Kwiatkowski in the yellow jersey and Geraint Thomas in fourth place – with Gianni Moscon and Jonathan Castroviejo in between – controlled the opening mountain stage of the Dauphiné in their usual style. But when the attacks started in the final kilometre of the short final climb to Lans-en-Vercors, their nominal ‘co-leaders’ went in opposite directions.

When Dan Martin kicked off hostilities, Thomas sprang immediately onto the Irishman’s wheel. Kwiatkowski, however, couldn’t respond and drifted out the back of the group.


Moscon, ninth on the stage in a group that finished eight seconds down on Thomas, moved into yellow, six seconds ahead of his two teammates Kwiatkowski and Thomas. Thomas’ third place on the stage and four-second bonus combined with the 17-second gap to Kwiatkowski on the line wiped out his 21-second deficit and put him level on time in third overall.

Arriving back at the Team Sky bus some five kilometres down the mountain, a sullen Kwiatkowski skipped his warm-down and declined to speak to the press.

Thomas did both, however, and confirmed what the road had just suggested.


Thomas’ form

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