Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) held off the peloton to take a dramatic win from the breakaway on Stage 2 at the Criterium du Dauphine – and then revealed he had been plotting the victory for weeks.
The Austrian looked set to be swallowed up in the final kilometre as the sprinters positioned themselves for the finale, but he dug in to keep them at bay and seize the overall lead.
He crossed the line with his mouth wide open, pain etched across his face, as Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) was forced to settle for back-to-back second place finishes behind. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) rounded out the top three.
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Postlberger leads the GC by 12 seconds from Colbrelli. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) is in a group of riders tied in fifth 24 seconds adrift.
When asked if he could believe his victory, Postlberger said: “Actually yes. I planned it a few weeks ago.
“I looked at the first two stages here and I thought maybe with the line-up, not so many sprinters, there was a good chance that the breakaway would survive. I knew I could do it.”
'I planned it a few weeks ago!' - Postlberger knew he was going to win...
Postlberger’s success comes after Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) also won from the breakaway on Stage 1.
Meanwhile, Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) looked a long way short of the rider that won four Tour de France titles, slipping off the back on the penultimate climb.
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