Info with a day to go
2022 – 17:16
The 74th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné is also the first to start from the Ardèche, the peloton of 154 men facing a 191.8 km stage 1 which could favor sprinters… or an attacker. At the head of an impressive Jumbo-Visma formation, Primoz Roglic is presented as the “big favorite” to win the general, two years after having to leave the race wearing the yellow and blue jersey before the final stage. Many other riders are eyeing victory overall on Sunday 12 at the Plateau de Solaison, before the Tour de France, with elite climbers like Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), Enric Mas (Movsitar), David Gaudu (Groupama- FDJ), Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën)… Ineos Grenadiers is opting for a different approach to the Critérium du Dauphiné, with stage chasers like Ethan Hayter and TT expert Filippo Ganna alongside leader Tao Geoghegan Hart.
GILLES MAIGNAN: “A FORWARDER CAN WIN AT BEAUCHASTEL”
The Critérium du Dauphiné begins with a 191.8 km stage following two loops around the starting town, La Voulte-sur-Rhône, and the neighboring finish, in Beauchastel, on the banks of the Rhône. The runners will first tackle a 129.1 km course, then a shorter one, over 62.7 km. The stage might favor fast men… But a look at the start list suggests there might not be too many teams interested in controlling the stage for a bunch sprint, while the attackers can aim for the first yellow and blue jersey, explains race director Gilles Maignan: “I feel like a lot will depend on the shape of the breakaway. With a few strong runners up front, one of them can take the win. Last year we thought Stage 1 would be a sprint and Brent Van Moer actually won in Issoire. We cannot exclude this kind of scenario.“The former French TT champion thus anticipates an open race:”It’s a way to avoid having a team that locks the race in the early stages. The first big day of the GC will take place on Tuesday, with a summit finish at the Chastreix-Sancy station.“
NIERMANN: ‘ROGLIC FEELS MUCH BETTER’
On the start-list of the Critérium du Dauphiné, the formation of Jumbo-Visma is talking about it with the return of Primoz Roglic, alongside Jonas Vingaard, Wout van Aert or even Christophe Laporte and Rohan Dennis. “We won’t ride to the max every day“, assures their sports director Grischa Niermann.This time, the riders are coming out of a long period of training, we especially want to see where they are in competition.“Their Slovenian leader returns to the Critérium du Dauphiné a few years after his only previous participation, when he had to retire while wearing the yellow and blue jersey before the final stage. It is also his return to competition after having had to skip the Ardennes Classics due to a knee injury.”He had to rest a bit but he feels much better now and it hasn’t disrupted his training schedule too much.“, says Niermann. As for Wout van Aert, who is eyeing the green jersey of the Tour de France, “he will try to win as many stages as possible but he won’t fight every day! He has a big shot in Wednesday’s TT.“
GAUDU SEEKS “CONFIDENCE” AND “OPPORTUNITIES”
“What is done is done“, and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) now wants “forget the first part of the season, with a fall in Paris-Nice, bronchitis, a fracture…“After an internship, the French climber (best young rider in the Critérium du Dauphiné 2021) resumed competition this week on the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes (3rd) and he faces the Critérium du Dauphiné with ambitions:”We have a solid team to fight for the general classification. The main ambition is to gain confidence with good feelings and to see my current level in the mountains against the best. For me, Primoz Roglic is the big favourite, and then there is a big batch of climbers like Johannessen from Uno-X, Mas, Kelderman, Vingaard… I hope to be at their level and if there are opportunities, we will take themGaudu also wants to perform in Wednesday’s time trial: “I trained a lot for it in Tenerife, I rode the Teide with my TT bike.”
INEOS AIMS TO SHINE ‘ON DIFFERENT TERRAINS’
Winner of seven editions of the Critérium du Dauphiné in the past 11 years, including in 2021 with Richie Porte, the Ineos Grenadiers arrive with “several cards for the general classification, with Tao [Geoghegan Hart] but also Eddie [Dunbar]maybe Michael [Kwitatkowski]“, explains sporting director Gabriel Rasch.”But we won’t have to bear the burden of race wise GC. One can play for stage wins on different terrains. The first two days can be sprints with reduced clusters, which would be great for Ethan Hayter.“The Brits are also looking forward to the individual time trial with world champion Filippo Ganna:”He trained at altitude, he is in good condition and we obviously support him. And then we’ll see what we can do in the mountains the last two days.“
CHRIS FROOME’S 10TH
The four-time Tour de France winner has had some extreme ups and downs in the Critérium du Dauphiné. He has triumphed three times (2013, 15, 16) and has six stage victories, a tally that makes him the race’s highest scorer among active riders. But he also suffered a career-changing accident in 2019, while preparing for the individual time trial in Roanne, hitting a wall and suffering multiple broken bones. The British star did not return to competition until the following year, and he has just achieved his best performance in three years by finishing 11th in the Mercan’Tour Classic. “I’ve seen big improvements in my form over the past two months, and I hope to continue to build on that to put myself in the best possible position for July.“, said Froome. “I had a good race at the start of the week at the Mercan’Tour Classic, and I look forward to continuing this momentum in the Dauphiné.“
FOLLOW THE RACE AROUND THE WORLD
Cycling fans around the world can turn to the Critérium du Dauphiné, enjoying broadcasts in 190 territories. They will enjoy 2 hours of live coverage on each stage. Fans will also be able to follow all the action on the official race website and on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), with live updates and the best images of the race, during the stage and in evening with highlights. of the day.