Gallery: Critérium du Dauphiné 2020
WORDS: NICK CHRISTIAN | PHOTOS: ALEX BROADWAY/ASO
In an unprecedented cycling season, an unusual incarnation of a race won by an unlikely team's rider.
Team EF's first WorldTour level GC victory since 2014 - Andrew Talansky, in the same race - came in an edition that was 37.5% shorter than usual, in which a number of the favourites were forced out.
Team boss Jonathan Vaughters may offer as a rebuttal to this a variant on "woulda, coulda, shoulda," and rightly so. Cyclists can only win the races they're in, on the road that's in front of them, against the riders that rock up. Daniel Martínez might not have won a stage of the race, but neither did Jakob Fuglsang last year or Geraint Thomas (unless you count the team time trial) in 2018.
The young Colombian finished with or just behind the favourites on the first four stages and then, on the fifth, slipped his reins and wound up in a strong group of riders, all of whom had reasons to work. When it came to the crunch Martínez rode masterfully, maturely, and within himself. Who can say he would not have been able to displace Roglic, as well as Pinot, had the Slovenian taken the start on Sunday?
"Who?" might include a few Dutch cycling fans or allies.
For the fact of the matter is that Jumbo Visma won three of the five stages, and it's not outlandishly speculative to imagine that same team would have been able to control the race as well on its final day as they had managed on the previous four.
Freed from his team role, Sep Kuss rode as fearlessly to victory on the final stage as Wout van Aert managed on the first. On the second, having ridden for Roglic for much of the day, Tom Dumoulin managed to finish a mere 59 seconds behind his leader.
This is a team which knows, unless disaster strikes - or Team Ineos are playing the world's best bluff - that they will win the Tour de France in 2020.
How ab-Wout that? A few smiles, plenty of grimaces, only one winner.
Team Jumbo Visma, always fronting.
Steady as she goes. A few riders came a-cropper on roads that many deemed unfit for descending at race pace.
Who said we weren't going to get sunflowers this year? [You did - Ed.]
The riders saw a lot of Megève this week. It's pretty though, so that's fine.
The Green Jersey on the front of the bunch at the back end of a mountain stage? I'm sorry no, that's not allowed.
After Egan Bernal withdrew, and his two British team-mates were left wanting, Pavel Sivakov sought to salvage something for Team Ineos.
Jumbo Visma: The unstoppable force of 2020?
An Alpine gorge? More like Alpine gorgeous.
Team CCC cannot buy a win in 2020. Because that's not allowed.
Sep Kuss sets his sights on the stage win.
We want to know where the other Colombian, Team EF's Sergio Higuita, got that mask from...
His team-mate, the champion, Daniel Martínez, is too busy looking cool.