The team time trial at the 2018 Criterium du Dauphine marks the transition point from rolling terrain to the high mountains. The 35-kilometre contre-la-montre par équipe, which is incidentally the same length as the Tour de France’s team time trial, is flat and takes the riders southwest from Pont-de-Vaux to Louhans-Châteaurenaud.
Team time trial world champions Team Sunweb will be first off the ramp at 14:50 local time with three minutes separating each team. Matching their ride in Bergen last year will be a tall order with Laurens ten Dam and Chris Hamilton already out if the race due to sickness. The German-registered team are at the bottom of the team standings, which has decided Wednesday’s running order.
Given that they hold the leader’s jersey, Mitchelton-Scott have been given the honour of starting last (at 15:53), though they are sitting sixth in the team classification. They have several strong time trialists in their squad, including the race leader Daryl Impey, and will be hoping to extend the South African’s lead going into the mountains.
Starting three minutes before them is Team Sky. Like Mitchelton-Scott, they have a solid time trial line-up with Michal Kwiatkowski, Geraint Thomas and Gianni Moscon. Provided they can keep their riders upright for the 35 kilometres, it should be a close-run battle between the two teams. Just two seconds separate Impey from Kwiatkowski in second place so the jersey could change hands again.
Lotto Soudal start just before Team Sky and have European time trial champion Victor Campenaerts to help pull them along and will be one to watch, as will former team time trial world champions BMC Racing and Quick-Step Floors, who set off in the two places ahead of the Belgian team.
The stage win, and potentially the race lead, is likely to be decided among the final five teams to start.
Cyclingnews will have full live coverage of the team time trial.
|2||Vital Concept Cycling Club||14:53:00|
|3||Team Dimension Data||14:56:00|
|4||Team Lotto NL-Jumbo||14:59:00|
|8||Cofidis, Solutions Credits||15:11:00|
|9||UAE Team Emirates||15:14:00|
|10||Team Katusha Alpecin||15:17:00|
|11||AG2R La Mondiale||15:20:00|
|13||Team EF Education First-Drapac||15:26:00|
|14||Astana Pro Team||15:29:00|
|19||BMC Racing Team||15:44:00|
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