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by Shane Stokes
March 16, 2018
Pacioni wins final stage of Tour de Taiwan, Arashiro takes overall; Van Garderen motivated to repeat past success in Volta a Catalunya; Past winner Degenkolb and teammate Nizzolo to miss Milan-San Remo; EF Education First-Drapac row in behind Modolo for Milan-San Remo; Critérium du Dauphiné route announced, features prologue, TTT and four summit finishes; Team Sky/Wiggins case could bring welcome – and powerful – changes to UK law; Opinion: Knighting Bradley Wiggins so early was just asking for trouble; Wolf Tooth RoadLink gets direct-mount option; Video: Sagan Loves the New Turbo Vado; Video: Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever Short – Training for Cancellara – Mandeville Canyon KOM
Tour de France organiser ASO has announced the route for this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné, which will act as the pre-Tour warmup for many of the big contenders. ASO named riders such as Vincenzo Nibali, Rigoberto Uran, Romain Bardet, Warren Barguil and Dan Martin as likely to take part; unmentioned was Chris Froome, who has a potential sanction hanging over him.
ASO is known to be concerned at the effects a participating Froome might have on the race’s image, and is pushing the UCI to make a decision prior to the start of the Tour.
This year’s Critérium du Dauphiné begins with a 6.6 kilometre prologue in Valence. The following two stages cover 179 kilometres and 180.5 kilometre to Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert and Belleville respectively. Both are undulating stages which will make the sprinters work hard to try to get something from the race.
Stage three is a flat 35 kilometre team time trial, which will give squads a whistle test prior to a similar race in the Tour. The remaining stages are mountainous: stage four includes the hors categorie Col du Mont Noir prior to a second category summit finish at Lans-en-Vercors.
Stage five to Valmorel is a hors categorie summit finish, while the following day’s race to the top of the first category La Rosiere is a clone of the Tour’s 11th stage. Just 110 kilometres in length, it promises dynamic racing. The Dauphiné then finishes on June 10 with another category 1 summit finish at Saint-Gervais. This is at the foot of Mont Blanc and was used by Romain Bardet to move to second overall in the 2016 Tour.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2018:
Sunday, June 3rd: Prologue : Valence – Valence (6,6 km)
Monday, June 4th: Stage 1 : Valence – Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert (179 km)
Tuesday, June 5th: Stage 2 : Montbrison – Belleville (180,5 km)
Wednesday, June 6th: Stage 3 : Pont-de-Vaux – Louhans Châteaurenaud (TTT, 35 km)
Thursday, June 7th: Stage 4 : Chazey-sur-Ain – Lans-en-Vercors (181 km)
Friday, June 8th: Stage 5 : Grenoble – Valmorel (130,5 km)
Saturday, June 9th: Stage 6 : Frontenex – La Rosière (110 km)
Sunday, June 10th: Stage 7 : Moûtiers – Saint-Gervais (129 km)
Click through to read an analysis at the INRNG, and see a video below.