Impressive finish for UAE Team Emirates' Swift at Critérium Du
Dauphiné stage seven as Meintjes moves into 11th in General Classification
Sunday, 11 June 2017, United Arab Emirates: UAE Team Emirates' Ben Swift clinched a podium finish at the top of the legendary Alpe d'Huez mountain on the seventh stage of the Critérium Du Dauphiné on Saturday, as teammate Louis Meintjes moved up to 11th in the overall General Classification.
Swift took an impressive second behind former team-mate and fellow Brit Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky) who won the stage.
The Brit, who is known primarily as a sprinter, had been part of a large breakaway group earlier in the day, and was able to put distance on his rivals on the slopes of the Col de Sarenne, the alternate route up towards the Alpe d'Huez ski resort.
Commenting on his podium finish, the British UAE Team Emirates rider said: “That was an incredible stage and a hard one to boot. There was a moment I believed I could win but I had already spent so much energy. My legs cramped up on the final stretch and I wasn't able to exert more effort. What a pity!”
UAE Team Emirates' Sports Director Mario Scirea, said of the team's performance: “What a stage! I'm very proud of the team's performance and Ben's podium finish. I thought he was going to win but alas his legs got tired towards the end. He was able to go to the very end though and placing second is testament to his good form. Despite climbing not being his strength, he did really well. Also it's fantastic to see Meintjes moving up in the GC to 11th - his performance is getting better day by day and we are confident in the work we are doing ahead of the Tour de France.”
Stage seven of the 69th Critérium du Dauphiné featured one of the most famous uphill finishes in the history of cycling. Alpe d'Huez is much more than just a supremely exhausting climb - with its 21 legendary hairpin bends it has developed iconic status in world sport, with the ‘Alpe' the scene of the first ever stage of the Tour de France to come to a conclusion at the top of a mountain in 1952.
UAE Team Emirates are racing at the Critérium du Dauphiné until Monday, 12 June and at the Tour de Suisse until Monday, 19 June. The Tour de France will start on July 1.
Stage Seven Results
||Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky)
||Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates)
||Jesus Herrada Lopez (Movistar Team)
General Classification after Stage Seven
||Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team)
||Christopher Froome (Team Sky)
||Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team)
||Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates)