Donovan Seizes First KOM Jersey at Critérium du Dauphiné

Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team started its Critérium du Dauphiné on a high note with Mark Donovan claiming the first King of the Mountains jersey after a stellar breakaway performance.

2 June 2024.


The 25-year-old Brit launched a solo attack 4 km into Stage 1 and took maximum points in all three categorized climbs of the day, thereby securing the lead in the KOM classification.

After 30 km, Mathis Le Berre (Arkea) bridged across to Donovan, and together they opened the advantage to the bunch to nearly five minutes. The duo worked well together, with Donovan showing his climbing pedigree and taking the five KOM points on offer.

Cold temperatures and intermittent drizzle fell all day, and by the time Donovan and his breakaway companion crossed the finish line for the second time, their advantage had been curtailed to just under one minute and 20 seconds.

Donovan was eventually reeled in with 16 km to go and was additionally awarded the Combativité prize for his valiant performance.

“It was our plan to go in the breakaway and try to go for this KOM jersey. It’s a nice jersey to aim for and it’s a great way to start the week for the team. Early in the stage, there was a bit of interest and a few attacks that went, but nothing stuck. Then I saw the opportunity, and we had a couple of guys at the front of the peloton ready to block. A nice gap opened up pretty quickly and then, luckily for me, there was one other rider that came with, and I wasn’t completely on my own for the whole day. I’m looking forward to trying to defend this jersey. Tomorrow is another day with a few KOM points up for grabs, and why not try and make this an objective to fight for,” said Donovan.

In the bunch sprint finale, Italian Nicolò Parisini gave it a good try and crossed the finish line in 14th place. On a sad note, James Whelan was involved in a late crash and was forced to abandon the race due to a knee wound.

Mark Donovan leads the King of the Mountains classification at the Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of Stage 2.


@Moises Aguillera