Domont’s Dauphiné, Sky smash the Hammer, Minnaar wins Fort William

fi’zi:k riders have been celebrating on the podium in France, Holland and Scotland this weekend.

The 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné started on Sunday with a 170.5km stage that began and finished in Saint Etienne, and it was a good opener for fi’zi:k rider Axel Domont (fi’zi:k Antares saddle and AG2R La Mondiale) who grabbed second behind stage winner Thomas De Gendt.

Domont and De Gendt formed part of a seven-rider breakaway that swiftly forged a 6min lead as the peloton were slow to respond. Domont and De Gendt always looked the strongest and broke free with two laps of the hilly 15km finishing circuit left to race.

fi’zi:k-equipped Dimension Data looked to reel in the attacking duo, aiming to give Edvald Boasson Hagen (fi’zi:k Antares VS saddle) a shot at victory, but it was too little too late. Meanwhile, race favorites Chris Froome (fi’zik Antares R1 saddle and Team Sky), Richie Porte (fi’zi:k Arione R3 saddle and BMC Racing) saved their energy for the week-long stage race.

Back upfront, De Gendt pulled away from Domont on the final climb to win the stage by 44 seconds. ‘I’ve been a pro for five years now and this is the second time that I’ve come close [to winning a GrandTour stage victory] after the Vuelta [stage 16] last year,’ Domont said after the stage. ‘It’s a little painful to miss out. I wanted to win.’

The Critérium du Dauphiné continues Monday with a 171km stage from Saint-Chamond to Arlanc.

Elsewhere in Europe, fi’zi:k-riding Team Sky stretched every sinew to pull off a thrilling victory as the maiden Hammer Series event went down to the wire in Limburg, Holland. The quintet of Jon Dibben, Owain Doull (both fi’zi:k R1B shoes), Tao Geoghegan Hart, Danny van Poppel and Elia Viviani headed into the final team-time trial first with an advantage of 32 seconds over Team Sunweb. Sunweb ate into the lead over the 44.7km course, catching Sky with 3.5km to go, but the British team regained their composure to send four riders past the line first to take the overall win.

Meanwhile, on fat tyres and full suspension, the fi’zi:k-sponsored Santa Cruz Syndicate showed the way at the UCI Downhill World Championship, with ‘the Goat’ Greg Minnaar (fi’zi:k Gobi saddle) putting almost 3 seconds into the rest of the field. After a testing qualifying session where he took 19th, the South African’s power and poise was just too much for the rest, as he recorded his sixth victory down the tough Scottish mountain. The 35-year-old topped both the podium and the World Cup points table.