Thomas De Gendt wins 1st stage of Criterium du Dauphine

SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP) Belgian rider Thomas De Gendt won the opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphine race after a solo breakaway on Sunday.

De Gendt, a stage winner in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia, completed the 170.5-kilometer (106-mile) trek starting and ending in Saint-Etienne in 4 hours, 17 minutes.

He finished 44 seconds clear of Frenchman Axel Domont and 57 seconds ahead of Italian Diego Ulissi.

Defending champion Chris Froome, who is bidding to win the race for the fourth time, placed safely in the main pack, 1:09 behind.

Monday's second stage - 171 kilometers from Saint-Chamond to Arlanc - is a flat route for sprinters.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.