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by Shane Stokes
June 3, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Avermaet wins stage two of Skoda Tour of Luxembourg, Drucker holds race lead; Resurgent Betancur ensures Movistar comes out best on day one of Hammer Series Limburg; Prologue winner Le Bon takes stage one of the Boucles de la Mayenne; Despite quiet season, Froome confident ahead of Dauphiné; Former race winner Talansky spearheads Cannondale-Drapac in Critérium du Dauphiné; Martin the designated leader of Quick Step Floors team at the Critérium du Dauphiné; Cannondale-Drapac team plays down talk title sponsor is leaving; Laws speaks about living, and riding, with cancer; Critérium du Dauphiné set to race Alpe d’Huez from a new direction; Blythe says he was forced to apologise to dangerous driver; Ultracycling legend Mike Hall’s ashes being transported on poignant final journey; Lucy Kennedy awarded twelfth Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship; Wanda Sport’s Ironman further expands cycling involvement with purchase of Competitor Group Holdings; Video: JLT Condor Pro Cycling Team; Video: onboard graphics from the Hammer Series
Critérium du Dauphiné race director Gilles Maignan has explained the reasoning behind tackling Alpe d’Huez in a different direction to usual on the penultimate stage of the race, saying that he came up with the idea during the 2013 Tour de France.
That year’s race saw the peloton scale the mountain twice, descending the Col de Sarenne in order to loop back to the usual starting point. Maignan’s route for this year’s Dauphiné will see the race head up that climb, thus reversing the direction.
“I kept this idea in the back of my mind. The opportunity to return to the Alpe d’Huez arose and we thought it would be interesting to test out this new format, to breathe new life into this finish,” he said.
“With this change, there are a total of 19 kilometres of climbing on the run-in, with sections that will shake up the race as well as break the rhythm. Right at the end, there is a small descent before getting to grips with the last four kilometres with which everybody is familiar. I’m virtually sure that it’s more difficult than the traditional climb”.
The race has only once previously finished on the Alpe d’Huez, with Alberto Contador winning in 2010. It has never taken the route now chosen by Maignan. The race begins on Sunday with a 170 kilometre stage in and around Saint-Étienne.