Bauhaus wins sprint as De Gendt keeps Criterium lead

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Mâcon (France) (AFP)

German youngster Phil Bauhaus won a bunch sprint ahead of stunned French duo Arnaud Demare and Bryan Coquard in the fifth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine at Macon on Thursday.

The flat stage precedes three days in the mountains where the form of Tour de France favourites Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Richie Porte will be scrutinised on some iconic climbs.

Belgium's Thomas De Gendt of Lotto retains the overall lead ahead of Porte and Alejandro Valverde with Froome and Contador both close behind.

The 22-year-old Bauhaus got his nose ahead after a long, nervous last 2km with the peloton bunched.

"I had a good shot at a stage win on Monday, I felt good and had two teammates leading me in," he said.

Friday's stage features a beyond category mountain which will also be on the Tour de France but the finish line, as with many on the Grande Boucle, comes after a treacherous descent to the bottom of the mountain.