Start as you mean to go on. This is what the organisers of the Critérium du Dauphiné have planned for this year’s route. Gone is the short prologues and in is an opening mountains stage, to give us action from the off. Other than the time trial there is no stage without a classified climb, making life difficult for any sprinter lucky enough to take the start.
The first climb of the day, the Côte du Morgins, is at 12.5km into the stage with a long descent to the foot of the Col du Corbier. There is barely a section of flat road on this course and the descents are not straightforward either. The parcours is perfect for a break to get away and stay away. Although anyone who has missed out on the escape won’t want to let them get too far up the road.
Expect to see riders like Luis León Sánchez and Thomas Voeckler trying to get into the break. If the general classification contenders are feeling a little feisty then we may see something from them, but it is unlikely. They will want to keep their powder dry for the tougher stages, towards the end of the week. With the Giro attracting so many of the riders who normally take on the Tour de France, this year will be a mix of the well raced against the riders building into form. Stage one should proved us with a good benchmark as to how the two match up against each other.
As you might expect, many of the Tour de France favourites will line up here. With the Alpe d’Huez later in the week, this race will be just as important as it has been in the past. The riders won’t just be testing their legs here; they will be making the first mental blows too.
Cycling News HD
For the full preview of Stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné download this week’s issue of Cycling News HD. In issue 57 we look back at the final week of the Giro d’Italia and how Vincenzo Nibali won his second grand tour, with stunning photos and in depth analysis. We also take a look forward at Stage 3 of the Dauphiné, where the sprinters may get a rare chance for victory.
Delivered to your iPad every Wednesday, Cyclingnews HD brings you the best all-new cycling photography in the world via the best medium for viewing it, as well as reports, results and exclusive analysis of all the week’s biggest races, in-depth previews of the races and stages to watch in the week ahead, interviews, news and opinion.
With over 50 pages packed with new and original content every Wednesday, alongside all the latest reports and results, Cyclingnews HD is the best way to enjoy a roadside seat at all the season’s biggest and best races.