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Canadian rider Derek Gee celebrates podium finish in Criterium du Dauphine

Canadian rider Derek Gee celebrated his first ever WorldTour general classification podium Sunday, finishing third in the Criterium du Dauphine in Thones, France.

Slovenia's Primoz Roglic, a favourite for the Tour de France, held on to win the eight-day, 1,020.6-kilometre race by eight seconds over American Matteo Jorgenson with Gee another 28 seconds behind.

The Criterium du Dauphine is considered a key Tour de France warm-up race.

Eleven racers have won the race and the Tour de France in the same year, most recently Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard in 2023.

"A podium in one of the biggest stage races before one of the most important races of the season is a clear indication of Derek's abilities and we look forward to seeing what he can do down the line," said Israel-Premier Tech sports director Daryl Impey.

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Gee credited his teammates for their support in a gruelling finale that included 3,640 metres of climbing and a final 9.4-kilometres ascent.

"I'm really glad I could do that because the boys gave me everything," an exhausted Gee said after the race. "I'm just really happy I finished that off."

Spain's Carlos Rodriguez won Sunday's 160.6-kilometre final stage, which started at Thieres and finished at Plateau des Glieres, with Jorgenson second and Gee third. Roglic was sixth.

The 26-year-old Gee from Ottawa was in a small lead group but was eventually dropped by Rodriguez and Jorgenson with a kilometre to go.

"All week I was nervous, waiting for the legs to give out," Gee said. "After the (finish) line I was suffering so much I couldn't enjoy it but now, it's all starting to sink in. There will be a lot of reflection after this. Right now I