Critérium du Dauphiné

Starting on Sunday this is a miniature de Tour de France concentrated in the Alps. The 2014 edition has more climbing than usual as even the opening 10km time trial has a climb and tricky descent.

Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 | Stage 5 | Stage 6 | Stage 7 | Stage 8 |
Route Summary | The Contenders | The Jerseys | TV Viewing | Rider List | History |

There will be a daily preview freshly baked on the morning of each stage but here’s the overview with additional information on the rules and more.

Stage 1 Sunday 8 June Lyon > Lyon 10.4km TT
Stage 2 Monday 9 June Tarare > Col du Béal 156km
Stage 3 Tuesday 10 June Ambert > Le Teil 194km
Stage 4 Wednesday 11 June Montélimar > Gap 167.5km
Stage 5 Thursday 12 June Sisteron > La Mure 189.5km
Stage 6 Friday 13 June Grenoble > Poisy 178.5km
Stage 7 Saturday 14 June Ville-la-Grand > Finhaut-Emosson 160km
Stage 8 Sunday 15 June Megève > Courchevel 131.5km

Route Summary
The race is always mountainous but this year’s edition is tilted even more to the climbers and stage race specialists. The mid-race long time trial, often a tradition, has been dropped with only the 10km opening stage against the clock.

After the opening stage in Lyon the race heads immediately for its first summit finish on Monday with the Col du Béal, a long climb but not fierce. There are two days for the sprinters and two for puncheurs but the final weekend sees the Queen Stage with the finish on Stage 7 in Switzerland by the Emosson dam at the end of a tough steep climb and if the weather’s good it promises to be spectacular on TV. Sunday’s final stage is mountainous and could be decisive, especially as every stage has a time bonuses of 10-6-4 seconds for the first three.

The Contenders

See the full post for more details.

Chris Froome
Alberto Contador
Tejay van Garderen, Vincenzo Nibali
Richie Porte
Kelderman, Špilak, Talansky

Stage 1 – Lyon > Lyon, 10.4km

Usually profiles exaggerate the climbing by toying with the y-axis but the image above doesn’t show the awkward climb nor the hairpin-laced descent. Before that there’s Le Tube, a new cycle path in a tunnel that has special lighting and displays and this should bring novel images thanks to the specific HF capture system set up by France Télévisions. The second half of the stage is along the quays of the Saone river and very fast.

Stage 2 – Tarare > Col du Béal, 156km

A trip to the centre of France and ending with the scenic Col du Béal. A summit finish on the second day might with an HC-rated climb might seem too selective but if the final climb is hard there’s harder to come later in the week and the hors catégorie label is a touch inflationary.

Stage 3 – Ambert > Le Teil, 194 km

A perfect day for a sprint. The day’s breakaway can go and collect some mountains points as a consolation before the flat run along the Rhone valley to finish next to Montélimar, capital of nougat.

Stage 4 – Montélimar – Gap, 167.5 km

If the Dauphiné is a prelude to the Tour de France this stage is a reversal with the finish borrowing from the roads of Stage 16 from last year’s Tour de France, you might remember it as the first of Rui Costa’s two stage wins. In fact the finish has been used several times and features a long drag up the climb followed by a short false flat that’s exposed before a winding descent to the finish.

Stage 5 – Sisteron > La Mure, 189.5 km

The race crosses the finish line to take a hilly loop with several cols and what should be a harder finish than the paper suggests. When the route was announced the Laffrey looked scary but it turns out the race uses a side road rather than fearsome Rampe de Laffrey, a notorious accident blackspot.

Stage 6 – Grenoble > Poisy, 178.5 km

A day for the sprinters? The course is flat but a tricky finish awaits with narrow roads, hairpins and more. It’s exactly the kind of terrain where the sprinters teams might find it hard to contain a late attack.

Stage 7 – Ville la Grand> Emosson Dam, 160 km

The Queen Stage and some royal climbing ahead. The Col du Corbier is the hardest of the trio of transitional climbs before the final combo of the Forclaz and then the Emosson Dam road. The last climb should decide the race winner and the long regular slopes of 10% are highly selective, the gradient only slackens during the hairpin bends. And all this before the vicious 28% wall to the line!

However your correspondent has visited and unless they’ve built a special ramp on scaffolding for the hell of it there is no road with a 28% gradient on this stage. Instead it’s 10% all the way to the line. If this has deflated your hopes don’t worry because it’s still a hard climb and if the sun is shining it’ll offer spectacular views.

Stage 8 – Megève > Courchevel, 131.5 km

The GC should be settled but the final stage and the time bonuses might still decide things. The final climb is to the ski resort of Courchevel but it’s not a high altitude finish. The last climb is listed at 5.9km at 6% in the roadbook but it’s actually 7% or more for most of the way.


  • Yellow jersey: officially the maillot jaune et bleu, the yellow and blue jersey. It’s for the overall leader in the race, designated by the shortest cumulative time for each stage. New for 2014 are the time bonuses of 10-6-4 seconds for the first three riders on Stages 2-8. The final winner collects €16,000
  • Green jersey: the points competition. 15-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 points for the first 10 on all the stages including the time trial. There are 5-3-1 points for the first three at the intermediate sprints. The final winner collects €2,000
  • Polka dot jersey: for the mountains. Unlike the Tour this is a red jersey with white dots. Hors catégorie : 20– 18-16-14-12-10-8-7-6-5 points for the first 10 riders ; 1st category cols offer 15-13-11-9-8-7-6-5 for the first eight, 2nd category climbs have 10-9-8-7-6-5 for the first six, 3rd category climbs offer 4-3-2-1 and 4th category climbs have 3-2-1 points. The final winner collects €2,000
  • White jersey: for the best young rider overall, who must be born after 1 January 1988. The final winner collects €1,000
  • Stage winners earn €4,000. The sum total of prizes adds up to €125,000

TV Viewing
Live on French TV which means there should be a stream to watch and it’s on Eurosport too as well as other countries around the world including NBC in the US and SBS in Australia. Subscribe properly rather than use a pirate feed and you’ll be treated to HD images.

If you’ve been scheduling things around the Giro for three weeks note the hours are different. The stages will finish before 3.00pm Euro time.

Team Sky
Directeurs Sportifs : Portal Nicolas
1 Christopher Froome
2 Vasil Kiryienka
3 David Lopez
4 Mikel Nieve
5 Danny Pate
6 Richie Porte
7 Geraint Thomas
8 Xabier Zandio

Astana Pro Team
Directeurs Sportifs : Martinelli Giuseppe
11 Vincenzo Nibali
12 Jakob Fuglsang
13 Andriy Grivko
14 Dmitriy Gruzdev
15 Tanel Kangert
16 Alessandro Vanotti
17 Lieuwe Westra
18 Andrey Zeits

Directeurs Sportifs : Mauduit Philippe
21 Alberto Contador
22 * Michael Valgren Andersen
23 Jesus Hernandez Blazquez
24 Sergio Paulinho
25 Bruno Pires
26 Nicki Sorensen
27 * Edwald Beltran
28 Rory Sutherland

Cofidis, Solutions Credits
Directeurs Sportifs : Rous Didier
31 Daniel Navarro
32 Yoann Bagot
33 Jérôme Coppel
34 Nicolas Edet
35 Christophe Le Mevel
36 Luis Angel Maté
37 Julien Simon
38 Rein Taaramäe

Orica Greenedge
Directeurs Sportifs : Lapage Laurenzo
41 Simon Gerrans
42 * Leigh Howard
43 * Damien Howson
44 Daryl Impey
45 Jens Keukeleire
46 Christian Meier
47 Ivan Santaromita
48 * Adam Yates

Movistar Team
Directeurs Sportifs : Garcia Acosta Vicente
51 Igor Anton
52 Imanol Erviti
53 John Gadret
54 José Ivan Gutierrez
55 Benat Intxausti
56 * Enrique Sanz
57 Sylvester Szmyd
58 Giovanni Visconti

Ag2r La Mondiale
Directeurs Sportifs : Lavenu Vincent
61 * Romain Bardet
62 Guillaume Bonnafond
63 Maxime Bouet
64 Mikael Cherel
65 Ben Gastauer
66 * Alexis Gougeard
67 Blel Kadri
68 Jean-Christophe Péraud

Team Europcar
Directeurs Sportifs : Flickinger Andy
71 Thomas Voeckler
72 * Natnael Berhane
73 * Jérome Cousin
74 Cyril Gautier
75 Vincent Jerome
76 Yannick Martinez
77 Kévin Reza
78 Romain Sicard

Directeurs Sportifs : Frison Herman
81 Jurgen Van Den Broeck
82 Kris Boeckmans
83 * Stig Broeckx
84 Bart De Clercq
85 Tony Gallopin
86 Pim Ligthart
87 Jurgen Roelandts
88 Frederik Willems

IAM Cycling
Directeurs Sportifs : Seigneur Eddy
91 Sylvain Chavanel
92 * Matthias Brändle
93 Stephan Denifl
94 Sébastien Hinault
95 Gustav Larsson
96 Jérôme Pineau
97 * Sébastien Reichenbach
98 Aleksejs Saramotins

Directeurs Sportifs : Volpi Alberto
101 Kristijan Koren
102 * George Bennett
103 Maciej Bodnar
104 Damiano Caruso
105 Alessandro De Marchi
106 Marco Marcato
107 Jean Marc Marino
108 Cayetano Sarmiento

Trek Factory Racing
Directeurs Sportifs : Gallopin Alain
111 * Bob Jungels
112 Fumiyuki Beppu
113 Markel Irizar
114 * Giacomo Nizzolo
115 Yaroslav Popovych
116 Hayden Roulston
117 Jens Voigt
118 Haimar Zubeldia

BMC Racing Team
Directeurs Sportifs : Ledanois Yvon
121 Tejay van Garderen
122 John Darwin Atapuma
123 Thor Hushovd
124 Amaël Moinard
125 * Dominik Nerz
126 Peter Stetina
127 Greg Van Avermaet
128 Peter Velits

Team Katusha
Directeurs Sportifs : Konyshev Dmitry
131 Daniel Moreno
132 Dmitry Kozontchuk
133 Alexander Rybakov
134 Egor Silin
135 Simon Špilak
136 * Alexei Tsatevich
137 Yury Trofimov
138 * Anton Vorobyev

Omega Pharma-Quick Step
Directeurs Sportifs : Holm Brian
141 * Michał Kwiatkowski
142 * Julian Alaphilippe
143 Jan Bakelants
144 Kevin De Weert
145 Michał Gołaś
146 Gianni Meersman
147 Zdeněk Štybar
148 * Carlos Verona

Directeurs Sportifs : Bricaud Thierry
151 * Kenny Elissonde
152 William Bonnet
153 David Boucher
154 Mickaël Delage
155 * Arnaud Demare
156 Pierrick Fedrigo
157 Yoann Offredo
158 Arthur Vichot

Garmin – Sharp
Directeurs Sportifs : Fernandez Bingen
161 Ryder Hesjedal
162 Jack Bauer
163 Alex Howes
164 Sebastian Langeveld
165 David Millar
166 * Lachlan Morton
167 Ramunas Navardauskas
168 Andrew Talansky

Team Giant-Shimano
Directeurs Sportifs : Guiberteau Christian
171 * Thomas Damuseau
172 * Nikias Arndt
173 Dries Devenyns
174 Johannes Fröhlinger
175 Chad Haga
176 Thierry Hupond
177 * Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg
178 * Daan Olivier

Lampre – Merida
Directeurs Sportifs : Righi Daniele
181 Damiano Cunego
182 Winner Anacona Gomez
183 * Davide Cimolai
184 * Valerio Conti
185 Kristijan Đurasek
186 * Elia Favilli
187 Filippo Pozzato
188 * Luca Wackermann

Belkin Pro Cycling
Directeurs Sportifs : Dekker Erik
191 * Wilco Kelderman
192 * Jack Bobridge
193 Lars Boom
194 Jonathan Hivert
195 Martijn Keizer
196 Lars-Peter Nordhaug
197 Bram Tankink
198 * Nicky Van Der Lijke

Team NetApp-Endura
Directeurs Sportifs : Denk Ralph
201 Leopold König
202 Jan Barta
203 Cesare Benedetti
204 Bartosz Huzarski
205 * Ralf Matzka
206 Frantisek Padour
207 Daniel Schorn
208 * Scott Thwaites

First run in 1947 to celebrate the demilitarisation of the Alps following World War Two, the race was won by Franco-Polish rider Edouard Klabinksi. It was organised by local newspaper le Dauphiné Libéré, itself named in celebration of the liberation. But four years ago it was bought by ASO, organisers of the Tour de France. As a result it’s no longer called the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré but the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Four riders have won the race three times Nello Lauredi (1950, 1951, 1954); Luis Ocaña (1970, 1972, 1973); Bernard Hinault (1977, 1979, 1981) and Charly Mottet (1987, 1989, 1992). In recent years winning the Dauphiné was seem as problematic as the victor peaked too soon but the success of Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013 has altered perceptions.

Dauphin means dolphin. How come a land-locked region of France is associated with a marine mammal? In the 12th century the local ruler Count Guigues IV of Albon bore a dolphin on his coat of arms, presumably to signify his well-travelled status. Nation might be too strong a word but the Counts ruled over a separate fiefdom from the French kingdom nearby. But the stage became crippled by high debts and the rulers had to sell up.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous June 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I wanted to know why Guigues IV would be nicknamed Dauphin. Couldn’t find anything about him being well-travelled. Eventually I found this:
The dolphin represented the Christian virtue of charity, but it also signified the family motto: D’AU FIN (TO THE END)


The Inner Ring June 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Fascinating. I’d read it was related to the Crusades and the same way some Knights used heralds with lions and other exotica.


Vitus June 5, 2014 at 4:21 pm

You don’t had to be well-travelled. Vienne isn’t that far away from the Mediterranean sea and you won’t need a crusade to see some dolphins. Btw. the name dolphin is originally from Greek and these animals were well known centuries before Guigues IV ;-)


Anonymous June 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Yes: this answer links up Greek mythology, Christianity and the Dauphin:


JEB June 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm

DAUPHIN – in french can also mean ‘young prince who is next in line to the thrown’.


Vitus June 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Cause the heir apparent to the throne of France always holds the title Count of Vienne, in the province Dauphine.


Bundle June 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Could be a fun race. The climbs look well “chained” in the profiles, good for long-range moves. And we have a trio of impatient leaders around, who like to enjoy themselves attacking pretty often. And there’s an underlying psychological battle going on in preparation for the Tour de France. Let’s see who is crazy, who pretends to be crazy and who really is.
Also interesting to see Giro riders. Will Kelderman or Antón be comparatively better than they would otherwise be? Will Moreno repeat the Katusha Dauphiné number of the last years?
But, still, all in all, way too many hilltop finishes. More mountain and less uphill finishes, please!!


Spatz June 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Got to say the winning purses’ seem very low, how does it compare with the other similar category races?

Nonetheless a good piece as always :-)


Alpen June 6, 2014 at 10:05 am

Lac Emosson is one of my home climbs. After a fairly normal approach to Finhaut, you are correct, the rest of the climb is extremely selective (especially after a leg sapping full Forclaz from Martigny) as well as topping out near 2,000m with a fantastic view over the Mt Blanc valley. This is no ‘Alpine highway’ to a posh ski resort, this is a goat track to nowhere on narrow and lumpy roads. It’s going to be fantastic watching the big boys fight it out on home roads!

I think Contador takes this stage by a few seconds, but Froome still takes the overall after gaining time in the ITT.


Matt June 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I would think the HC rating for the Col du Béal might be to make the race more aggressive. Riders after the mountains jersey will want to be far enough ahead that they have a chance to hang on for a stage win and max points. Hoping that early in the race, GC teams who will be going max attack next weekend might look at each other to control the race on day 2.


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