12.06 16:36] Lars Bak continues to do well in Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré, where he took a fifth place in the first mountain stage this Thursday.
Bak escaped in a break with 15 other riders after 60 kilometer of the 193-kilometer stage from Vienne to Annemasse. For most of the time they had a lead of three to five minutes and during the final climb Cyril Dessel (ag2r) escaped and crossed the finish line solo.
Bak kept on fighting and finished fifth with the favorite's group only a few seconds behind. In this group was Carlos Sastre as well as Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) who still leads the race.
"We'd talked about trying to get someone in the break. During the first many kilometer Karsten Kroon and Alexandr Kolobnev worked hard to try and make one and they even did a few times, but they were caught again. Then Lars started to get aggressive as well and he made it straight away so that was perfect really," said Team CSC Saxo Bank's sports director Scott Sunderland and continued:
"When they started moving on the final climb Lars chose to follow his own pace which was good enough to keep him ahead of the favorite's group, but too bad it wasn't enough to win the stage. It would've meant a lot to Lars. But I do think that he's proved down here that the Danish Cycling Federation probably should have waited a while before choosing the last few riders for their Olympic team, but you've gotta respect their choice of course."
Carlos Sastre was in the favorite's group and his first test in the race went as planned
"Carlos wasn't supposed to go all the way today because the climbs weren't tough enough, but he still managed to keep up with the favorites without any problems. He didn't want to go with the break on the last climb but he closed the small gap of four or five seconds at the top easily and he felt good the whole time," finished Sunderland.