Derek Gee proved his impressive ride in the mountains on stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné was no fluke, backing it up again today to finish in fifth place on stage 7 to move into third overall with one stage remaining.

Gee heads into the final stage 1:13 minutes behind today’s stage winner and race leader Primoz Roglič after digging deep to stay with the small group of favorites on the summit finish, proving he has well and truly transitioned into a GC rider.

Gee had nothing but praise for his teammates at the finish line, acknowledging the valuable experience of the guys riding in support of him.

I’m satisfied with today”, Gee smiled after the line. “It was hard. It was a really hard profile but the guys were amazing. They just looked after me all day and put me in the best position possible.

It’s indescribable how valuable that level of experience is in the team. Even the little tips they give me, aside from what they do for me on the road, they are pretty special.”

Gee’s dominant performance at the race comes off the back of altitude camp so with plenty of climbing in his legs, he knows how to suffer. With four categorized climbs on the menu today, there was plenty of suffering on the cards.

I felt pretty good for the first couple of kilometers [of the final climb] but then it really hit me and I was just staring at the wheel in front of me. But I was glad I could stay with the front group.

Heading into the final stage, Gee has a 43-second advantage over Aleksandr Vlasov, who sits in fourth place, while Gee sits just 11 seconds off second place. It’s all to play for tomorrow with another four categorized climbs, including the Plateau des Glières summit finish, and one thing’s for sure, Derek Gee will give it everything he has.