The Spin: Dauphiné Stage 7

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Look at the profile but note the distance. At 124.5km today’s final stage is almost a sprint and promises action from the start to finish.

Once again note the early finish if you plan to catch this on TV.

With some climbing along the way the route is a test for all but despite starting and finishing in two ski resorts this is not a big day in the mountains.

  • Km 39.0 – Côte de Mijouet – 2.2 km, 5.3 % avg – Cat4
  • Km 56.0 – Col de Cou – 6.6 km, 4.4 % avg – Cat3
  • Km 89.0 – Côte de la Vernaz – 3.2 km, 8.2 % avg – Cat2
  • Km 102.0 – Col du Corbier – 7.7 km, 7.3 % avg – Cat1
  • Km 124.0 – CHÂTEL – 1.5 km, 8.7 % avg – Cat3

The early climbs roll fast, ideal for a breakaway to get away. For the GC contenders trying to reshuffle their position on the overall classification the Col du Corbier could be a launchpad but despite its first category label it is a regular climb with long straight sections and only 77km long, it’ll be relatively easy for Team Sky to contain a move. More so since once the climb is done the road to Châtel is wide and slightly uphill, the kind of terrain where if a climber were to escape on the Col they’d flounder on the approach road to the finish.

The finish in Châtel has a sting, an 8% gradient to the line with several hairpin-like bends in the last kilometre. Nothing to turn the race upside down but plenty to make for a fun finish.

Scenario: it’s likely a breakaway stays away but many teams will want a rider in the group and they might give chase if they miss out. The stage is surely too short for big time gaps; if it all comes back then you’d look to Edvald Boasson Hagen, Dani Moreno or Thomas Voeckler for the finish. Maybe Simon Gerrans will emerge and Rinaldo Nocentini is another name. But a “bunch” sprint is likely to be reduced.

Don’t forget many riders, especially the French, will be thinking of selection for the Tour de France and getting in a move today could impress their team and even influence their entire career. No pressure.

TV: the same as yesterday, don’t be caught out by the early timing. The stage is planned to finish between 2.30 and 3.00pm Euro time. This is earlier than the other stages so don’t be caught out. Live video should start at 1.25pm Euro time and tune in for the finish.

Weather: a cool day. The race is often associated with melting tarmac and the first summer heatwave but the cool and overcast conditions continue, no doubt to the relief of riders. Sunny at times with a temperature of 20°C in the valleys (68°F).

Food: cheese again, the finish passes by Abondance. It also dips down to Thonon-Les-Bains which sits on the edge of Lake Geneva. The lake is so big there is a freshwater fishing fleet and the shores are flanked in places by vineyards. And next to Thonon is the town of Evian, famous for its bottled water. Passing cyclists can stop and fill up their bidons with the water for free.

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{ 7 comments }

Frogboy June 10, 2012 at 7:14 am

I can see Julien Simon trying his luck in today’s breakaway. A “short”, fast stage with an uphill finish might well be within his abilities to win a sprint from a reduced group. Alternatively, this sort of stage ending could also favor Cadel Evans, were he to attack in the last 1-1 1/2 km, should the peloton catch up with the real racers (It’s a cultural bias, don’t mind me).

Ankush June 10, 2012 at 8:18 am

it could be Moreno or even Cadel. I was really disappointed with Tejay’s performance yesterday, hope he improves for the Tour.

Toe Strap June 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

The early starts are presumably due to French TV requirement, not waanting to clash with Roland Garros.

Toe Strap June 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

That should read “early finish”

Matt June 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

I’m looking forward to the 77km climb. :D

Rooie June 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Moreno was a good guess indeed!

Larry T. June 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Good call, how much did you bet on him?

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