Primoz Roglic celebates his overall victory in the Criterium du Dauphine with his child on the podium

Plateau des Glières (France) (AFP) - Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic held off a late surge by American Matteo Jorgenson to win his second Criterium du Dauphine by just eight seconds on Sunday in an eventful 160-kilometre mountainous run from Thones to Plateau des Glieres.

Roglic, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe, went into the last day of the pre-Tour de France race with a 1 minute 2 second lead on Jorgenson but the American put in a fine performance to come second in the eighth and final stage, just behind stage winner Carlos Rodriguez of Spain.

“It’s crazy to be able to win the Dauphine after everything that happened, the crash (on Thursday) and everything that came in between. It’s incredible,” said Roglic.

“I was hearing all the gaps all the time. It was close but finally I’m satisfied for the team. It’s definitely something we needed with the team to be able to win the Dauphine.

“I first want to be happy because you don’t win a race like this every day,” he added.

The 34-year-old Slovenian came in sixth on the day after forcing his way up the final ascent just in time to ensure he added a second Dauphine victory to his win in 2022.

- Comfortable Roglic -

After being caught up in the mass fall in Thursday’s stage, Roglic showed no signs of hurt as he won back-to-back stages on Friday and Saturday to stake his claim on the race lead going into the final stage.

After having previously lost the race on the last day in 2020, Roglic looked comfortable as the riders set off from Thones but began to falter in the final climb before recovering to fight hard in the last 500 metres to maintain his grip on the yellow jersey.

Jorgenson, 24, of Visma just failed to add a Criterium win to his Paris-Nice title this year as he ended up second in the overall classification.

Derek Gee was dropped by the leading group of Jorgenson and Rodriguez shortly before the finish line but rolled through in third place for the stage to finish 36sec behind Roglic and become the first Canadian to ever to make the overall podium in the Criterium.

Ineos’ Rodriguez claimed a career-first Criterium stage win on Sunday to jump to fourth in the overall ranking.

Italian Lorenzo Fortunato clinched the polka dot jersey from Roglic on the final day as the race’s best climber with 40 points overall.

Team Soudal's Remco Evenepoel won the stage 4 time trial in the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday

Belgian Remco Evenepoel, who also crashed on Thursday in his first race back after breaking his collarbone in the Tour of the Basque Country in March, suffered a disappointing last three days in the Dauphine and finished seventh overall.

But he will have his eye on the Tour de France, which starts on June 29, where he will again be among the favourites alongside his rivals Tadej Pogacar and Roglic.