Criterium du Dauphiné 2021 – Stage 6 preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Criterium du Dauphiné 2021 – Stage 6 preview

By David Hunter

Loriol-Sur-Drôme > Le Sappey-En-Chartreuse 167km

Fairly flat for around 135km, then hilly for 32km. It’s a funny stage.

Just 2655m of climbing, but it’s still going to be a selective day because the majority of that climbing comes near the end of the stage. We’ll have to see if anyone can be arsed chasing the break, it will need to be a GC team, not even Colbrelli can survive this one!

Key Points

The organisers have only classified the end of the climb, but it’s 18km at 5%, and that includes some flat sections. The worst of it comes near the end, where it really starts to ramp up making it too hard for the fast men. We’ve seen in all races this year that some teams want to race the descents, which has a knock-on effect in terms of when they start racing the climb. With around 3km to go, expect to see the pace start to get really fast as teams try to secure the best spot for the downhill.

The descent is fast and fairly technical. What makes it worse are the trees on either side, the shadows are a wee bugger.

The stage ends with 9.6km at 4.6%, but that does include some steep sections and a nasty kick at the finishing line. The stage might look easy, but the last 30km will ensure the peloton is small come the end of the stage. The hardest section of the climb is 830m at 9.5%, this finishes with just 1.5km to go, and then the final 400m averages 7.3%. This is a deceptively hard end to the stage.


Another hot day with temperatures getting close to 30 degrees. There will be a gentle tailwind for most of the stage, including the final climb.


Yet again I ask myself who wants to control the morning break. The big GC days come at the weekend, this stage won’t see gaps between the favourites, so what’s the point chasing the break? There isn’t one, unless you’re really confident about the stage win. Yet again in this race it looks like a good day to be in the break, which means it could take quite some time before the move goes.

Will Movistar chase for Valverde? Astana for Lutsenko? The stage does look good for both riders, but I’m not sure we’ll see both teams committing to a long chase. It all depends on the strength of the break.

If the race does come back together, some teams will try and create gaps on the descent, it’s getting very trendy these days. Once into the closing stages we’ll see attacks from the front group, those with multiple numbers will try and take advantage, but the stage is likely to end in an uphill sprint. The final 2km will seem like it goes on forever.


Alejandro Valverde – the finish is very good for the Spaniard, especially as he’s looking fast again in the sprint. Movistar have multiple leaders at the race, they don’t have too many men left to chase, which makes the closing stages complicated. Valverde will be hoping it ends in a GC sprint, he should be the fastest in that scenario.

Alexey Lutsenko – he wants the yellow jersey. Pöstlberger is going very well, but the length of the climbs will be too much for him. This stage is a good one for Lutsenko, the climbs are tough, but not too tough. He’ll be wary of Asgreen who sits just 4 seconds behind him but given his performance in the TT I think Lutsenko will be confident of not just taking yellow but winning the stage as well.

Patrick Konrad – always packs a fast sprint, especially uphill. Bora have Konrad and Kelderman as potential options, both have a fast finish. Can this be the day Konrad eventually gets his first world tour win?

Geraint Thomas – after his cheeky move today, what will he come up with in this stage? His sprint is good, but not fast enough to win the stage. I think Thomas will be one of many climbers fighting for the podium.

Kasper Asgreen – his decision to go for today’s break was a brave one, I was impressed to see him still finish with the peloton. This is a stage that will interest him, especially as he could move into the yellow jersey. We’ll have to see what his sprint is like after a tough end to the stage.

Ion Izagirre – with all eyes on Lutsenko he could fly under the radar.

Sonny Colbrelli – could he? 18km at 5% followed by 9.6km at 4.6% sounds too hard for him, even though his current form is hugely impressive.

Tim Wellens – breakaway hopeful number 1. He tried today; he’ll try again.

Sven Erik Bystrøm – breakaway hopeful number 2.

Julien Bernard – breakaway hopeful number 3.

Dorian Godon – breakaway hopeful number 4.

Prediction Time

As the opening 120km is very easy I think we’ll see someone control the pace and set up a big finish. I think we’ll see a GC sprint and Alejandro Valverde taking the win.

David Hunter

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3 thoughts on “Criterium du Dauphiné 2021 – Stage 6 preview

  1. Movistar are not even riding for Valverde. Try Miguel Ángel López….and then you will find the winner.

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