The first day in the mountains of the Critérium du Dauphiné saw a decisive move from Jumbo-Visma who controlled the stage in the Col de la Croix de Fer on some small move and then detonated the race in Vaujany. Primoz Roglic took time and the yellow jersey, whilst Carlos Verona was the winner on the day after being the strong member of the breakaway.
Positive: Verona taking an important win specially as Mas suffered with injuries. Jumbo and Roglic staying in total control of the race.
Negative: Wilco Kelderman, Eddie Dunbar and Enric Mas between the riders who lost time and fell out of contention.
In the final day of the race the riders head north. It’s the queen stage some would say, as it features a very tough summit finish, but overall the stage is hard from start to finish with 3700 meters of climbing packed into less than 140 kilometers.
It all kicks of with the Col de Plainpalais which will be climbed straight from the startline. Not a brutal ascent but it’s sure to see the climbers form a strong breakaway group, and possible raid attempts as the first hour of racing has potential to be furious.
The penultimate climb of the day will be the Col de la Colombière. It summits with 38.5 kilometers to go and should see the pace high in order to set things up for the final ascent; with 11.9 kilometers at 5.8% average gradient.
The Plateau de Solaison though is where the riders will conclude the Critérium du Dauphiné. It’s a brutal ascent, with no rest from start to finish; it averages 9.2% for 11.3 kilometers, and it’s a double-digit ascent right from it’s base. Big gaps can be made, and the race won’t be sealed until the riders managed to drag themselves across the line.
Normal weather, nothing too different to be expected.
Breakaway chances: 40%
Jumbo-Visma will be in control of the race so it will be up to them essentially on whether the stage goes to a breakaway or not. No-one in the peloton will likely have many hopes of taking time on the duo, so a calm pace throughout most of the day is possible.
At the same time, the uphill start will allow strong climbers to go up the road and have freedom to fight for the stage win.
Primoz Roglic & Jonas Vingegaard – In my honest opinion, no-one in the GC group will be able to put them under pressure. They have shown it throughout the week but today specially, they were the two strongest climbers. Roglic should be under control, whilst Vingegaard may have the freedom to chase the stage, or even be helped by the team due to the work he’s put in this week.
Brandon McNulty – He’s had a very similar situation in Paris-Nice, and took advantage of it by getting into a breakaway and winning a mountain stage. He’s got enough time back to have some liberty, and surely the legs to win from a breakaway.
Other possibilities for a breakaway win, on paper, have riders that could have some favouritism such as Wilco Kelderman, Dylan Teuns, Michael Storer, Kevin Geniets and the likes of Eddie Dunbar or Enric Mas if they return to their normal level.
But the stage battle is likely within the GC group, and the fight for the podium. Ben O’Connor is leading the way, with Tao Geoghegan Hart the closest competitor and Tobias Johannessen the one who looked the best today. David Gaudu, Esteban Chaves and Louis Meintjes also finished alongside Johannessen and will be fighting for the top place tomorrow in the stage.
Whilst Damiano Caruso and Jack Haig also stay in the Top10 despite a less good day, however they were on the attack and may very well do so once again tomorrow in a more open start to the stage.
Inside The Bus
This morning I talk to…
#2 Andrey Amador – You’ve had a breakaway today and it could’ve worked well but there was no gain in the end. Some of the guys will try tomorrow but you stay in the peloton, protect and guide Tao throughout the day, make sure he enters the climbs well positioned and stay in the group for as long as possible.
#33 Gorka Izagirre – We won eh, we’ve gotten the objective but let’s go for another one, who knows. The start is uphill so if you have the power you won’t struggle to get away, and then throughout the day it will be a matter of trying to save as much as possible for the final climb as that is where the real differences will be made.
#21 Jack Haig – Part of me wish you’d try and attack early in the day with some of the guys and try to raid the race, that is the only way we have of fighting for the win of the race. Realistically though, we’ll stay in the peloton and conserve everything for the final climb. You sit ninth but the podium is only 48 seconds away for you (and less for Damiano) so for sure we can still have a very strong final result with a good day.
⭐Chaves, Gaudu, Hart, Caruso, Haig, McNulty, Kelderman, Teuns
I think the breakaway can fight for the stage win but there are few obvious names. However the day is hard and the final climb will see big differences – favourable to peloton. My call for the win is Jonas Vingegaard, he’s shown to have good form and I believe that Roglic will try to help his teammate into a win after all the work he’s done this week (and because Jumbo have the ability to do this kind of thing).
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