2022 Critérium du Dauphiné – Stage 2 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

2022 Critérium du Dauphiné – Stage 2 Preview

By @EchelonsHub

The opening stage of the Dauphiné saw a bunch sprint decide the race, as the breakaway never threatened the stage and the climbs weren’t enough to cause damage – besides the pure sprinters. Wout van Aert was the fastest in the final sprint, beating Ethan Hayter and Sean Quinn and putting on the first yellow jersey. 

Positive: Wout van Aert taking the win on his return to the road. 

Negative: Damiano Caruso and Anthon Charmig between the riders who lost time, two riders less to consider for the GC.

The Route

The second day of the race is one that is, as the opening day, quite open to surprises. One for the sprinters on paper, however some of them may struggle in the day’s long but shallow ascents. With just over 100 kilometers to go there is the summit of an 11-kilometer long ascent which features two categorized points, and from 83 to 46 kilometers to go there is an 1000-meter altitude gain with no descent, mostly in shallow climbing and rolling terrain. 

The slight uphill will then give way to fast descending. A couple of hilltops with 13.5Km (1Km; 5.2%) and 9Km (1.2Km;4.9%) can cause further damage, however it’s a very explosive and fast finale. The riders will then keep descending into Brives for the finale. 

In the final two kilometers the gradient flattens out, however the final 1.1 kilometers are quite technical and will add further challenge to the stage. The final straight is around 550 meters long. 

The Weather

Wind from the west that will increase throughout the day. It’ll make for a headwind throughout most of the stage, a good thing for the pure sprinters who may have an easier day on the bike. 

Breakaway chances: 10%

The day isn’t suited much to a breakaway, and the headwind will only make it harder for anyone who tries to escape. 

The Favourites

Wout van Aert – Today was an easy win for Jumbo, with very little work but without any big leadouts it will be impossible for him to be out of position. The stage isn’t very hard but the harder the better for him.

Ethan Hayter – INEOS played their cards right today but came up short as Hayter couldn’t outsprint van Aert. The solution? Keep trying, really, because Hayter is not stronger than van Aert in a sprint but if they once again thrive in the leadout they will be giving him the best chances possible. 

Dylan Groenewegen – He will need an easy day in the peloton in order to contest the sprint, which isn’t impossible, but won’t be easy. However I think it’s more likely than today, and the headwind may help. If he’s in the sprint, without any major leadout, Groenewegen should be the man with the max power in a sprint. 

Phil Bauhaus – On his best day he has a lot of speed. Him contesting the stage depends on him going through the climbs, however I feel like he can do so slightly better than Groenewegen. 

The likes of Jordi Meeus and Matthew Walls will hope for a calm day, if they resist the climbing they have the chance to do something in the finale. Juan Sebastián Molano will also be an interesting option, but for the chances of winning the list is sealed off there. 

The likes of Luca Mozzato, Jasper Stuyven, Clément Venturini, Jannik Steimle, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Hugo Page are also options for a bunch sprint but to contest the places below. 

Inside The Bus

This morning I talk to…

#215 Eliot Lietaer – Protect Pierre’s jersey will be the priority, so we’ll be active in joining the breakaway. Ideally with him, however if you see an opportunity and he happens to not be there, you make sure you take on the jersey or at least prevent others from getting the points. 

#64 Olivier Le Gac – It shouldn’t be a dangerous day for the guys, but obviously the task will be to keep them safe in the peloton, having special attention in position David in the finale of the stage if it seems like things get very tense. 

#203 Romain Combaud – We have nothing to loose here so you can try and get in the breakaway early on, and see if we can play our cards, it’s the only way we have of taking on a stage win or a jersey. 

Prediction Time

⭐⭐⭐WV.Aert, Groenewegen

⭐⭐Hayter, Bauhaus

⭐Molano, Meeus, Walls, Stuyven, Venturini

Honestly I do think the likes of Groenewegen may have a chance to fight for the win, but tomorrow despite everything I think that it will still be too much climbing. All it takes is one team to push the pace a bit in the long ascent and they’ll be dropped, and the INEOS/Jumbo duo can easily keep them away. Wout van Aert was the superior sprinter today and that was expected, I believe in a second one tomorrow. 

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