Criterium du Dauphiné 2021 – Stage 4 preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Criterium du Dauphiné 2021 – Stage 4 preview

By David Hunter

Firminy > Roche-La-Moliere 16.5km ITT

A challenging TT.

This race against the clock has more uphill than flat or downhill. I can’t call any of the climbs hard, they’re more nagging than anything else. The opening 5km is mostly downhill, then the lumps begin. We have 600m at 6.8%, 2.6km at 4.3%, 1.3km at 4.3%, 600m at 6% and 1.3km at 4.3%. The amount of climbing will make this a tough day out, not the gradients.

Climbers who normally don’t TT well will hope that the lumpy terrain will allow them to limit their losses, but I’m not so sure. Riders like Thomas and Porte will love this route, they’ll be hoping to gain more than one minute on most of their rivals.


Getting the weather forecast right in a TT is very important, so I’ve used meteofrance, which is usually a very reliable source. They suggest that there will be showers from 1500 onwards, with a wind of 20km/h, gusting up to 40km/h, coming from the south. There is a lot of tailwind and cross/tailwind throughout the run, if you get lucky and the wind reaches 40km/h it could be your lucky day.


Geraint Thomas – if they rain didn’t come down, I think he’d have won in Romandie. Will the same happen here? If everyone gets the same conditions I have him as the favourite, I think he’s looking strong just now. On his day he’s one of the best TT riders in the world.

Richie Porte – he’s close to Thomas, beating him in Catalunya but not in Romandie. Porte quietly goes about his business in TTs, he’ll be eyeing the podium.

Kasper Asgreen – won the recent TT in Algarve, but you must look at who he was up against. Asgreen is looking okay just now, I don’t think he’s in top form. I doubt he’ll win this stage.

Brandon McNulty – 4th in Paris-Nice, 4th in Catalunya and 2nd in the Basque Country, the American is getting very close to his first TT win as a professional. As he lost time in the opening stage, he starts at 1438, which means he could get lucky and miss the potential rain. If this happens, he has a huge chance of getting that big win.

Mikkel Bjerg – he’s another who starts early, the Dane goes at 1427. The former three time under 21 TT world champion has taken his time to find his feet at the highest level, but recent signs have been promising. His 3rd place in the UAE Tour was an indication that he’s ready to challenge for some wins, could this be his day?

Wilco Kelderman – normally a solid top 10 option in a TT.

Ilan Van Wilder – his 4th place in the Romandie TT took me by surprise. I’ll looking forward to seeing if he can back it up.

Steven Kruijswijk – current form isn’t quite there.

Early Starters – if the rain does come those who start early could surprise. Keep an eye out for Oliveira, Černy, Haga, Barta, Van Baarle and Craddock.

Prediction Time

If the rain comes down someone who goes out in the dry will take the win. Looking at those who’ll finish before 1500, I’ll take a win for Mikkel Bjerg, it’s about time he won a TT.

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