Dauphiné Stage 2 Preview

Monday, 8 June 2015

A route for the sprinters but with so few of them in the race it could give others a chance to get away knowing not enough teams will chase. Once again don’t get caught out by the early finish.

Peter Kennaugh

Stage 1 Wrap: a win for Peter Kennaugh. When Team Sky launched with the idea of winning the Tour de France one day some people were amused by the claim and Kennaugh was the rider tipped as the future winner rather than Bradley Wiggins or Chris Froome. But in recent years he’d not got the results expected of a grand tour talent and was beginning to look like a British version of Cyril Gautier. Who? Europcar’s punchy rider was was tenth yesterday, useful on the hills and handy in a sprint sometimes but with few wins on the road to show for it. Kennaugh is said to be open to offers in the jobs market and when he stroked his jersey it looked like he was pointing to the British stripes rather than the Sky logo. His win will help, he and others went clear on the last climb before he attacked the group with 2.5km to go to hold off the sprinters. Sky are already in control of the race.

The Route: the route starts uphill with the Col du Chat. This shouldn’t be confused with the nearby Mont du Chat, a fearsome climb that the Dauphiné or Tour de France should brave one day. But the Col is a steep climb that requires a warm up otherwise the peloton will taste breakfast again.

The route proceeds along past the Lac du Bourget and tracks the Rhone valley north before it climbs the to the Plateau de Retord. The first category climb might sound scary but it’s early in the stage and 8.7km at a manageable 6.7% average and without any steep surprises. And that’s it, the race descends off the plateau and heads across the flat lands to the Parc des Oiseaux (“Bird Park”) and a flat finish. The profile looks pan flat but it rolls a bit but that’s all.

The Finish: flat and with no obstacles to speak of.

Sacha Modolo

The Contenders: the first category climb should not worry the sprinters, indeed the likes of Nacer Bouhanni are riding the Dauphiné to get their mountain legs ahead of the Tour de France. A sprint finish seems likely rather than certain because there are not enough teams with sprinters to guarantee this.

Sacha Modolo is the prime pick, he won the bunch sprint yesterday just behind Kennaugh and this is his chance before Giro fatigue sets in. Nacer Bouhanni is a close second, he will be desperate to win this because it’s either today or Wednesday or the Dauphiné becomes a mountain training camp. Yesterday’s hilly circuit ejected half his Cofidis sprint train and he expects to be steaming to the finish line with a first class ticket today. Edvald Boasson Hagen completes a trio of obvious picks as he’s in form and the best of MTN-Qhubeka’s sprint options.

Otherwise look to Luka Mezgec, Kris Boeckmans, Jonas Van Genechten or Alexey Tsatevitch among the sprinters. If they and their teams don’t set up the sprint it’s hard to find a winner. Sky might well try to control the race too.

Sacha Modolo, Nacer Bouhanni
Edvald Boasson Hagen
Mezgec, Boeckmans, Van Genechten, Tsatevitch

Weather: 21°C and the chance of a thunderstorm later in the day. There’s no wind and the flat third of the stage is known for its calm weather.

TV: the finish is expected for 2.45pm CET. The early part of the stage would be stunning to watch but it won’t be on TV, coverage only picks up the final hour.

It’s an ASO race so you should find it on the same channel as you watch the Tour de France. It’s on Eurosport too and if all else fails you can rely on Cyclingfans and steephill.tv for links to feeds and streams.

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J Evans June 8, 2015 at 8:41 am

The jersey tapping – and this is not a criticism of Kennaugh – is getting a bit old, isn’t it?

J Evans June 8, 2015 at 8:44 am

Miserable swine that I am, I’m against line-crossing ‘celebrations’: the risk of looking like footballers is too great.

Nick June 8, 2015 at 8:49 am

At least when cyclists do it they have both conclusively won and done more than just what they are paid to do.

Vitus June 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Jersey tipping is old and okay.
But anybody who forms a heart with his hands or do the baby cradle, should be DQ’ed. In any sport.

SirDave June 8, 2015 at 8:59 am

There has been “jersey tapping” ever since there has been jerseys. Its a natural reaction to winning something to celebrate it.

The Inner Ring June 8, 2015 at 9:39 am

If you’re talking about it then it worked 😉

Peter June 8, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Exactly right!! A smart team management will try to get all the riders to do this for exactly that reason. Good response

Dave June 9, 2015 at 1:48 pm

except there’s some undercurrent with Kennaugh and friction with Sky, hence the likelihood that it was the GB bands not the Sky logo he was tapping. Kennaugh was open in his dissatisfaction of not being selected for the TdeF squad last year and being sent to the Tour of Austria (which he won), and some of us think him beating Ben Swift in a sprint in the national champs was a middle finger (gifted by a close friend) to Sky management.

Despite being a fan of Contador, I find his pistol salute FAR more irritating than a jersey grab!

Vanilla_Thrilla June 8, 2015 at 11:25 am

I assume he was just trying to warm his nips up. Looked like the headlights were on

SeeingElvis June 8, 2015 at 7:33 pm

At the risk of sounding like a crank, a finish-line pet peeve of mine is when the lead out rider also raises his arms up. This is certainly understandable that one would have taken a critical part in the victory and is excited to share in a job well done. It is spontaneous and I cannot blame them for doing it.
It just simply detracts from finish line photos, in my opinion.

Andrew W. June 8, 2015 at 8:35 pm

Odd. I think it adds to the finish-line photo.

Ferdi June 8, 2015 at 8:48 am

You don’t count Guardini among the sprinters… But, I don’t think the peloton wil make it together to the finsh.

Ferdi June 8, 2015 at 8:50 am

And of course, you don’t count him, because he’s doing Switzerland.

SeeingElvis June 8, 2015 at 7:36 pm

+1 on the Cortázar mention, by the way, Ferdi. Brilliant writer and testament to the strength of this blog.

Marcel June 8, 2015 at 9:46 am

The Mont du Chat was part of the Tour in 1974 (2e cat.). The nearby Col du Grand Colombier has steep sections too (HC, 20%) and was part of the 2012 Tour. Both are part of the Jura mountains and look like the short and steep Giro passes.

Marcel June 8, 2015 at 9:59 am
paddydunne June 8, 2015 at 10:32 am

Pete Kenaugh is a spikey guy. It’s time to break free from the orbit of the Death Star and go some where like Movistar and target longer races that the main GC guys arn’t at. As in all work places you need to challenge yourself. He’s proved he can work for a team leader and do $h!tloads of work for others. He deserves a bit back. He would be a good option at any manner of other places, he’s not short of courage to have a go. He’s got a good CV, if twer i, i woodn’t be shy at coming forward and selling me wares out in the market place.

Anonymous June 8, 2015 at 11:55 am

+1 and he would look bloody good in Movistar kit.

Bilmo June 8, 2015 at 10:53 am

I think I mentioned before in a comment that at the end of Project Rainbow by Rod Ellingworth he tips Kennaugh for this years worlds. It was also noted yesterday (on the ITV coverage I think) about the worlds nature of yesterday course, being a series or circuits.

I haven’t looked at the world’s circuit in details, and it may not be what Ellingworth expected 2 years ago, but I wonder if this result will make British Cycling/Sky get behind Kennaugh for a ‘project rainbow mark 2’.

Tovarishch June 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

Looks a bit like the Commonwealth Games parcours. Hope he doesn’t try the same trick!

Disgruntledgoat June 8, 2015 at 11:08 am

Another good placing for Thiesj Benoot yesterday too.

Anonymous June 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Hope Nacer Bouhanni and Cofidis get it right today!

Anonymous June 8, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Now that did work out fine!

Paul June 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm

But the Col is a steep climb that requires a warm up otherwise the peloton will taste breakfast again – LMAO

Guyst ride by Peter Kennaugh well pleased for him he is a tough cookie.

Love this race for all its variables and the route looks fantastic this year

Larry T. June 8, 2015 at 2:42 pm

RAI Sport 1 is showing the race live, with Pancani and Martinello “live” in a Milan studio (can’t blame them, I rather be here in Italy too) adding their comments, making a nice midday break for me. Looks like everyone has what I assume is a rear-facing camera mount sticking out from the back of the saddle?

Anonymous June 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm

” … I assume is a rear-facing camera mount sticking out from the back of the saddle?”

France 3 mentioned in commentary during Stage 1 that they were GPS trasmitters and ASO were testing out geolocation of the riders…

KB June 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm

“France 3 mentioned in commentary during Stage 1 that they were GPS trasmitters and ASO were testing out geolocation of the riders…”

Or just really fancy ass-savers, which is equally useful for commentators and viewers.

“The early part of the stage would be stunning to watch but it won’t be on TV.”

Professional cycling, this is one of your main problems: not enough ‘racing’ in races, and when there is, it’s not on TV. Instead today we got an hour+ of a group ride, spiced up with a few crashes and plenty of airtime for local flora and fauna – sponsors would have done just as well to put their name on a few swans.

Strangely, this year the coverage is limited to Eurosport here in NL – Sporza (VRT) aren’t covering it; NOS hardly shows any cycling any more. Did they just not want to pay ASO rights fees? Or is the race becoming less popular?

Larry T. June 8, 2015 at 8:37 pm

My first thought was ass-saver too but it was dry. I then assumed it was a camera mount as you could see cameras on some bikes with others just this black thing sticking out behind the saddle. Did anyone have BOTH the camera and this gizmo? I didn’t see a combination but I didn’t spend hours looking at the race for the reasons you outlined. I really can’t see any of the big faves risking anything to win this race with Le Beeg Shew coming up. I’d guess pretty much everyone figures it’s not that much of a form guide for LeTour based on last year?

Special Eyes June 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Not sure whether the rear cameras are on mounts.
I read that they were also trialled in the ToC (with the UCI’s blessing), with a new Shimano camera front-mounted on Garmin holders and rear off the seatpost.
It is something that Brian Cookson seems keen on, to expand as much as is practically possible.
It may be a case, at some future point, that all riders will have them, and they will become an integral part of the viewing experience (ala Formula One, Moto GP etc).

The Inner Ring June 8, 2015 at 9:12 pm

That’s right and it’s a trial ahead of the Tour de France. A picture:
https://twitter.com/inrng/status/607890568358858752

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