From this Sunday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will participate for the seventh time to the Criterium du Dauphine (2.UWT, 5-12/06). The 74th edition is divided in seven hilly or mountain stages and a flat time trial.
The race starts in the Ardèche region with a double passage on the Côte du Chambon de Bavas (5km at 5%) and the Col du Moulin à Vent (3.4 km at 5%) in the second race half. After the top of this last climb, 30 downhill kilometers bring the riders to Beauchastel, where the first yellow jersey will be awarded.
In the second stage, the top of the Col de Mézihac brings the riders to 1100 meters of altitude. The last 60 kilometer, mostly downhill, are interrupted by the Côte de Rohac (1.2 km at 4.9%) 10 kilometer before the finish.
The first uphill finish will be held on Tuesday, in Chastreix-Sancy (6.2km at 5.6%), followed by a flat individual time trial of 31,9 kilometer between Montbrison and La Bâtie d’Urfé. A relatively hilly stage is on the menu on the fifth day towards Chaintré, before the peloton reaches the Alps on Friday via the Col de Rousset (6.6 km at 5%) and the Col de Cabre (9.1km at 4.7%), which is situated 60 kilometer before the finish in Gap.
The weekend is the apotheosis of this edition, with two stages of a little more than 130 kilometer covering several mythical climbs. On Saturday, the Col du Galibier, the top of the Télégraphe and the Col de la Croix de Fer have to be covered before climbing towards ski resort Vaujany (5.8km at 7.2%). The closing stage finishes on top of the Plateau de Solaison (11.4km at 8.9km) after the ascent of the Col de la Colombière.
The final of this last stage was the same in 2017, South African climber Louis Meintjes took third place and finished eighth in the final classification. The recent winner of the Giro dell’Appennino will participate for the sixth time to the Dauphiné, an event in which he also took ninth place in 2016.
He will be accompanied by former stage winner Jan Bakelants (in Poisy in 2014) and the recent sixth of the Tour of Italy, Jan Hirt. The Czech winner of the queen stage in the Alps ten days ago will make his debut in the Dauphiné, just like Kobe Goossens, Laurens Huys, Hugo Page et Julius Johansen.
Stage 1 (05/06): La Voulte-sur-Rhône – Beauchastel (191,8km)
Stage 2 (06/06): Saint-Péray – Brives-Charensac (169,8km)
Stage 3 (07/06): Saint-Paulien – Chastreix-Sancy (169km)
Stage 4 (08/06): Montbrison – La Bâtie d’Urfé (31,9km) (= TT)
Stage 5 (09/06): Thizy-les-Bourgs – Chaintré (162,3km)
Stage 6 (10/06): Rives – Gap (196,4km)
Stage 7 (11/06): Saint-Chaffrey – Vaujany (134,8km)
Stage 8 (12/06): Saint-Alban-Leysse – Plateau de Solaison (139,2km)