He had claimed victories in nearly every possible way: attacking into mountain finishes, using his tactical nose to perfection into one-to-one finishes, or beating some quick guys into reduced field sprints. But he had never done it with so much fury, and against such talented riders, as he did on Tuesday at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Jesús Herrada exploited the abilities he's developed over the course of six years as pro -yet still being 25 years old- to dominate Chalmazel's slopes (stage two, 168km) and claim an impressive, maiden stage win in 2016 thanks to an intelligent Movistar Team on the way to the final Cat-3 climb.

The squad directed by Arrieta and Laguía knew how to keep their plan untouched until the finish, waiting for their moment. It wasn't until the final 6km uphill, already left behind the wear and tear of the Côte de Saint-Georges (Cat-2), where the Blues started to play their cards, five strong into a 60-rider group. Dayer Quintana went on the attack, following the wheel of Sergio Henao (SKY), one of several big attackers into the ups and downs before the finish, before Dani Moreno, always keeping the remnants of the day's most dangerous move in sight -a four-rider attempt including Frenchman Tony Gallopin (LTS)-, paved the way for Herrada, who launched an unstoppable acceleration, mostly what Alejandro Valverde has offered for more than a decade, to claim his eighth success in the pro ranks and the Movistar Team's 22nd - with nine different riders - so far in 2016.

The win, the 10-second bonus and the two-second advantage over the main favourites leave Jesús in 5th place overall, 27" behind Alberto Contador (TNK), with Dani Moreno at 1'13". Both will seemingly play the leading role for the Movistar Team in the Alpine course, which will tackle another intriguing finish on Wednesday with the Côte de Sécheras (Cat-2) just 21km away from Tournon-sur-Rhône

REPORT TAKEN from MOVISTAR TEAM News