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Froome lieutenant Poels dedicates Dauphine win to stricken leader

Froome lieutenant Wout Poels of Ineos won the Criterium 'Queen' stage (AFP Photo/Anne-Christine POUJOULAT)

Les Sept Laux (France) (AFP) - Dutch climb specialist Wout Poels of Team Ineos dedicated his win in the mountainous penultimate stage of the Criterium du Dauphine to the hospitalised Chris Froome, after a rain drenched race on Saturday.

Poels was with Froome on Wednesday when the four-time Tour de France winner broke his hip, leg, elbow and ribs in a horrific, freakish crash.

"It's great news for the team and it's a gift for Chris," Poels said after the win.

"It was nice to have the freedom to go for the win, but it's sad for Chris."

Astana's Jakob Fuglsang, the Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner, pulled on the overall race leader's yellow jersey, eight seconds ahead of the Briton Adam Yates after a rain-lashed 133km stage Saturday.

"I have never seen worse racing conditions anywhere," said Fuglsang.

At the end of an almost 20km climb, Poels edged Bora man Emanuel Buchmann and Fuglsang in the toughest stage on the race.

Fuglsang won this race in 2017 and if he can hold on to the lead over the dense, steep 113km route Sunday will mark himself out as one of the favourites for the Tour de France.

The race is still wide open with EF rider Tejay Van Garderen third overall at 20sec, Buchmann fourth at 21, Poels fifth at 28.