Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) of Astana Pro Team earned a dominating overall victory at the UCI World Tour event Criterium du Dauphine giving Canadian high-end bike manufacturer Argon 18 its first World Tour win. Fabio Aru, who was an integral part of the victory finished 5th in the general classification. Argon 18 is in a multi-year partnership with the long-standing UCI World Tour Astana Pro Team.
“On behalf of Argon 18, I want to congratulate Jakob Fuglsang, all riders and staff of the Astana Team for this great win at the Dauphine. For Argon 18, it's our first UCI World Tour Stage and Stage race victory and we could not be more excited and proud to be a part of this team,” said Gervais Rioux, founder and president of Argon 18 Bikes. “To watch the team perform on our bikes at this level is one thing but also to work closely with them on our product evolution and have their detailed feedback, these have cultivated a great relationship.”
Fuglsang, who scored a close sprint victory in stage 6, played the race cards in calculated fashion on short and challenging final stage to clear the field and hold on for a resounding win.
CAPTION: Jakob Fuglsang enroute to victory on his Argon 18 Gallium Pro.
“I don’t know what to say," Fuglsang smiled. "We tried to keep our GC, that was the plan of the day, but it came down to a big, big, big fight. Fabio and I, we played it really good. Then of course also we had a few things that played in our favour. Froome had to pull after Fabio and Valverde and he went so hard. In the end, Daniel Martin attacked and I just followed. “I took a big advantage from this situation and when in the final Martin attacked, I had the legs to follow him and I did – continued the Dane – honestly I couldn’t believe that all of this was happening: I’m super super happy this is just great,” said Fuglsang.
Aru, who missed last month’s Giro D’Italia due to injures from a training crash, has returned to form and was a vital component in today’s victory. Aru finished in 5th in the GC and showed his fitness is on track for the upcoming Le Tour de France, where he and Fuglsang will co-lead the Astana Pro Team.
“For sure 3rd place would have been better than a 5th but, to be honest, I came to this Dauphiné with many doubts because the season had not been lucky with the flu at Tirreno and the injury at the knee. Today, I attacked with Valverde on the Colombiere and I said to myself ‘Let’s try how is the condition!’ On the final climb a kept the front and ended 5th but above all, I’m super happy for Jakob victory because he deserved it and the entire Team deserve this great result” commented Aru.
Both Fuglsang and Aru rode the Gallium Pro model bike, with Aru having a custom painted Sardinia bike, celebrating his hometown. The Gallium Pro is a superlight bike designed to climb and known for its remarkable stability and razor-sharp handling downhill. The Gallium Pro features the Argon 18 3D System, a structural extension of the headtube, for precision positioning and added stiffness.
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