Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) took the biggest win of his career with victory at the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge after holding off a late chase from Richie Porte (Trek Segafredo). Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) finished third to complete the podium.
As expected the race came down to a frantic battle on the slopes of Mont Ventoux with several major attacks taking place before Vlasov made his move. The 24-year-old, who enjoying an incredible run of form attacked with 4.5km remaining and quickly caught and dropped Martin. The Astana rider’s acceleration sparked a reaction from both Richie Porte and Nairo Quintana but the Colombian could offer little in the way of assistance as the finish approached.
Porte was able to drop his companion and then repeat the trick when he caught Martin with just over 2km to go but the Australian was unable to pull back any time on Vlasov. The Astana climber provided necessary cover when his teammate Miguel Angel Lopez was dropped on the lower slopes of the climb and carried on his form from La Route d’Occitaine, where he finished third overall.
Pierre Latour, who had instigated the attacking when he soloed off the front with 10km to go finished fourth, just ahead of Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates). Quintana was forced to settle for eighth, while last year’s winner Jesus Herrada took ninth.
"It's a very famous mountain, the mountain of champions so I'm very, very happy to win here,” Vlasov said at the finish.
“I'm happy with my performance and with the teamwork. We did a good job. I felt very good and I tried to attack. I'm very happy. Now I will go in Italy for the Classics. With my shape, I hope to get some good results in the Giro dell'Emilia or Il Lombardia, it's a very nice race. And I want to do my best."
How it unfolded
The action began with a group of eight riders including Carmelo Urbano Fontiveros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ), Jose Gonçalves (Nippo Delko One Provence), Juan Felipe Osorio Arboleda (Burgos-BH), Alessandro Monaco (Bardiani-CSF), Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Marlon Gaillard (Total Direct Energie) and Robert Scott (Canyon dhb p/b Soreen) attacked in the early stages of the race. The event is only in its second season but drew an impressive start list with Astana, Trek-Segafredo and Cofidis all entering the race with high-quality line-ups.
At the summit of the first climb of Fontaube the leaders had 3:30 over the peloton but it wasn’t until the first climb to Chalet Reynard that the race began to truly break up. Bravo attacked from the break and dropped his companions as Astana and Trek-Segafredo set about controlling the chase.
The lone leader held only a minute’s advantage over the peloton as the final, long ascent approached and he was duly caught as the main field thinned down to less than 40 riders. Latour was the first heavyweight to attack with 10km to go and his acceleration was enough to see Lopez start to crack. The Frenchman was unable to build on a small advantage and it was Cofidis that moved to the front in order to set up Martin. His acceleration was vicious and split the remnants of the main field. The Cofidis leader quickly made contact with Latour, and although there was a valiant defence from the AG2R La Mondiale climber he was soon forced to ease his efforts as Martin pushed on with 6.4km to go.
Trek began to wind up the pace but their hard work only helped to set up Vlasov, who jumped away with 4.5km to go. He caught and dropped Martin in less than a kilometre and although Porte tried to reel in the Astana rider he gave himself too much to do in the closing stages.
Rider Name (Country) Team
Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana Pro Team
Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
Harold Alfonso Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana Pro Team
Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
Fernando Barcelo Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana Pro Team
Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo
Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
Jaime Castrillo Zapater (Spa) Kern Pharma
Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Circus-Wanty Gobert
Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
Rémy Rochas (Fra) Nippo Delko Provence
Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana Pro Team
Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH
Jhojan Orlando Garcia Sosa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis
Joan Bou Company (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Arkea-Samsic
Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH
Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
Barry Miller (USA) Cambodia Cycling Academy
Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates
Simone Petilli (Ita) Circus-Wanty Gobert
Alexander Evans (Aus) Circus-Wanty Gobert
Daniel Alejandro Mendez Noreña (Col) Kern Pharma
Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
Dayer Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
Cristian Camilo Muñoz Lancheros (Col) UAE Team Emirates
Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie
Antoine Berlin (Mon) Cambodia Cycling Academy
Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
Callum Macleod (GBr) Canyon dhb p/b Soreen
Juan Felipe Osorio Arboleda (Col) Burgos-BH
Rein Taaramäe (Est) Total Direct Energie
Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Kern Pharma
José Gonçalves (Por) Nippo Delko Provence
Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana Pro Team
Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
Ibon Ruiz Sedano (Spa) Kern Pharma
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
Paul Ourselin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea-Samsic
Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
Alessandro Monaco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
Kinfe Hailemichael (Eth) Nippo Delko Provence
Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Marlon Gaillard (Fra) Total Direct Energie
Hideto Nakane (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence
Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie
Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis
Isaac Canton Serrano (Spa) Burgos-BH
Mark Christian (GBr) Canyon dhb p/b Soreen
Maximilian Stedman (GBr) Canyon dhb p/b Soreen
Jacob Scott (GBr) Canyon dhb p/b Soreen
Lewis Askey (GBr) Groupama-FDJ
Clément Chevrier (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
Anthony Jullien (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
Jake Stewart (GBr) Groupama-FDJ
Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
Hernando Bohorquez Sanchez (Col) Astana Pro Team
Andres Camilo Ardila Ordoñez (Col) UAE Team Emirates
Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
Alan Riou (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
Juan Fernando Calle Hurtado (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Oier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Carmelo Urbano Fontiveros (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Jerome Cousin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
Valentin Ferron (Fra) Total Direct Energie
Ibai Azurmendi Sagastibeltza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Unai Cuadrado Ruiz de Gauna (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
Marco Benfatto (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
Umberto Orsini (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
Jeremy Bellicaud (Fra) Circus-Wanty Gobert
Thomas Degand (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
Théo Delacroix (Fra) Circus-Wanty Gobert
Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence
Julien El Fares (Fra) Nippo Delko Provence
Atsushi Oka (Jpn) Nippo Delko Provence
Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Justin Mottier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH
Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos-BH
José Fernandes (Por) Burgos-BH
Jon Agirre Egaña (Spa) Kern Pharma
Jose Felix Parra Cuerda (Spa) Kern Pharma
Ivan Moreno Sanchez (Spa) Kern Pharma
Daniel Pearson (GBr) Canyon dhb p/b Soreen
Rory Townsend (Irl) Canyon dhb p/b Soreen
Robert Scott (GBr) Canyon dhb p/b Soreen
Samy Aurignac (Fra) Cambodia Cycling Academy
Gabriel Muller (Fra) Cambodia Cycling Academy
Pascal Bousquet (Fra) Cambodia Cycling Academy
Florian Dumourier (Fra) Cambodia Cycling Academy