Critérium du Dauphiné 2016 – Stage 1 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Critérium du Dauphiné 2016 – Stage 1 Preview

By David Hunter

Cluses – Saint Vulbas 186km

Sprint stage.

daup 1a

Thanks to the prologue, we have Tinkoff to control the stage for the yellow jersey. They will ensure the break only gets a small gap and then the teams of the sprinters will take over.

daup 1

4 cat 4 climbs to get someone on the podium, but nothing to worry about.


Alexander Kristoff – fresh from a win in California, he arrives with the riders that will support him at the Tour. He has Morkov, Haller and Guarnieri. This is a fine sprint train, the best here. The Norwegian will start the sprint stages as the favourite and will look to get some wins.

Nacer Bouhanni – despite taking 6 wins in 2016, I have been disappointed by him and his sprint train. He has Vanbilsen, Bozic, Soupe and Laporte. They have messed up a few times this season, sometimes Bouhanni hasn’t delivered the goods. His last race was GP de la Somme, where he lost to Dan McLay. That would be a concern to me. He does perform well in the Dauphine, but really has to step it up to beat Kristoff.

Sam Bennett – another sprinter who’s had a slow year. His team aren’t here just to support him, so he’ll only have Voss and Archbold, inside the last couple of kilometres. The Irishman, could do with a confidence boost before then.

John Degenkolb – great to see him back in action in California. He is still recovering from his horrible accident, so I don’t expect him to win a stage. Despite that, he has a brilliant looking sprint train with him. He has Curvers, Sinkeldam, Waeytens and De Kort. This is better than Cofidis, but a little slower than Katusha. The German will hope for a podium spot.

Edward Theuns – if given the opportunity to sprint, he will do well. Fresh from taking his first win for Trek, in the Belgium Tour, he will be looking to take a world tour win. If the team can persuade Bonfazio to lead him out, he has a big chance!

Samuel Dumoulin – confidence is a massive part of sprinting and the wee man from France is flying just now. He won’t have much support, but expect to see Dumoulin challenging for the top 5.


daup 1b

So this isn’t easy! We have the riders heading fast towards town, before having to narrow with 4km to go, thanks to a roundabout. In the next kilometre, we have another two roundabouts, where the peloton can take both the left and right lanes, this is where it will get messy. Once clear of this section, it gets easier. There is a big turn at 2km and 1.3km, leading into a long finishing straight.

The roundabouts are the most important part of the finale, teams will need to ensure they hit the front with 5km remaining. Being at the front, is more important than having extra teammates for the last kilometre.


Looks like being a dry day. That is good news!

Prediction Time

Katusha have the best train, so Kristoff will win.


David Hunter

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