Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Preview

The last chance for the sprinters and a ride across some fine countryside before a finish in wine country.

Stage 1: an early break of three from which Brice Feillu took the mountains jersey, he turned pro in 2009 and won a summit finish in the Tour de France months later and to date that’s been his only race win. The move was contained by Quick Step and Vital Concept with the latter hoping for a sprint finish only the finish was lively with several big names launching attacks in the final kilometres including Julian Alaphilippe who was briefly joined by Michał Kwiatkowski before Geraint Thomas chased them down, not quite the “old 1-2” routine. We got a sprint among those left at the front of affairs from which Daryl Impey was unbeatable. Groupama-FDJ’s David Gaudu, tipped as a rival to Egan Bernal and both 21, was caught in a late crash requiring stitches to his hand.

The Route: 180.5km to the Beaujolais and a Belleville rendez-vous. The second half of the stage features many roads used in past editions of the Dauphiné and Paris-Nice and these are some fine roads to ride. Alpe d’Huez, Mont Ventoux and other destinations are obvious draws but any readers driving down from northern Europe to these destinations should enjoy a day’s riding on these roads, numerous mountain passes can be linked together for a hilly and scenic ride with little traffic. The climbs here are often 5% and not much steeper so only out of condition sprinters should suffer here and if they can reach the top of the Col du Fût d’Avenas, an average of 5% but with a sustained 7% section from the middle on.

The Finish: five roundabouts in the final 5km including two after the flamme rouge before a 700m long finishing straight, a dead straight where the finish arch will look closer than it is, especially as there’s a small rise to the line in the final metres.

The Contenders: good roads for a breakaway but also for teams to chase them on too, the roads may rise but they’re wide and steady and the finish isn’t as suited to a late flurry. This is the last chance for the sprinters so it’s all in for several teams. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick Step) has the pure speed, can he cope with the climbs? Bryan Coquard could win but to repeat yesterday’s caution he’s yet to win in the World Tour and his Vital Concept team will be feeling the pressure, this is their audition for an invitation to the 2019 Tour de France. Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) was dropped as the stage started yesterday which doesn’t bode well for his condition but could just be down to a lack of a warm-up. One rider looking sharp is Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), third yesterday in the tricky finish means he looks the in-form pick.

Pascal Ackermann
Jakobsen, Coquard, Bauhaus, EBH

Weather: 21°C at most, with a high chance of rain showers along the way.

TV: the finish is forecast for 4.30pm CEST.

28 thoughts on “Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Preview”

  1. “A Belleville rendezvous” – pure class 😀👍🏻
    There are so many reasons to read this site, this stuff is the icing, along with the roads to (one day) ride suggestions.
    Chapeau Inner Ring!

    • I must have led a sheltered life, culturally anyway.
      I had to search online for this and just watched a splendid little trailer and read a review.
      I’ve learned something new today and it’s not even 9.00 am yet.
      Very good, merci Inner Ring.

      • It is a lovely film. As a slight aside (forgive me Inrng) I run a bicycle film club in Leeds where each month I show a bicycle related film / documentary or collection of short films. You can see what I’ve show here – If any readers (or Inrng) have any suggestions for further screenings feel free to drop me a note via the website or twitter (which you can see on the website).

        • A follow up from Breaking away is another Steve Tesich classic American Flyers. It’s such an obvious choice, but I can’t seem to find it on your site.
          btw, great collection of films, haven’t seen many of them, thanks for the tip

          • Oh gawd, please! Just say no to American Flyers. Truly awful in every way from the wooden Kevin Costner to the horrible stereotype of “Sergey Belloff”. The only bright spot in the whole ugly mess is Rae Dawn Chong….completely wasted in this mess that probably has Tesich turning over in his grave.

          • Thanks @ZigaK – I have a long list of possible films and American Flyers is on there (but not screened it yet – might have to take note of Larry’s comment :-).

            Thanks @Inrng – I really want to screen Ghislain Lambert but as of yet I’ve not been able to track down who can issue the public screening licence that I need in order to screen stuff. It’s the main issue I have – there’s lots of interesting films and documentaries it’s getting the licences that is the tricky bit.

          • I watched Breaking Away a few months back and at one point I think he’s meant to outsprint a lorry on a main road, and he’s sprinting in the little ring. I started tutting and muttering about plausibility before remembering it’s just a film. I grabbed a beer and got over myself. I was also watching Nightcrawler the other day – not a cycling film but it is great – and at one point the main character steals a bike which he claims is worth $8000. The bike itself was a Cervelo and owned by a guy decked out in Rapha… thumbs up for authenticity there!

        • It could be material you’re familiar with, but in case you are not I will recommend the cycling films of Jørgen Leth to you. They can be bought in a DVD box called Sports films.

          “Stars and Watercarriers” – about the 1973 Giro. You get great footage of Merckx in his prime, with Gimondi, Battaglin and others.
          “A sunday in Hell” – Legendary film about the 1976 Paris-Roubaix.
          “The impossible Hour” – About Ole Ritter’s Failed 1974 attempt at Merckx’s hour record in Mexico.

          These are all beautiful films that show that era so well and they are strangely poetic in their way, so it’s not obknoxious standard sportscommentary.

          CHAPEAU to INRNG for picking the winner of the stage!

          • Thanks @Watts – I’ve shown A Sunday in Hell (I keep getting requests to re screen it), have not been able to track down the licence for Stars and Watercarriers but keep trying. Didn’t know about the Impossible Hour so will add that to my potentials list.

            @Inrng – thanks for that recommendation. Don’t know that one so I’ll investigate

        • Oooh The Reliance! Signed up and will be coming along at some point, I hope.
          BTW (only slightly off topic) – have you ever shown “A Day Out”? Cycling and Yorkshre combined – a Halifax cycling club go on a day trip to Fountains Abbey in 1911. First collaboration of Alan Bennet and Stephen Frears, it’s a lovely little film and very atmospheric.
          “A Belleville Rendezvous” is one of my favourite films.

  2. I take the point about a stage for sprinters and fine countryside. But, two days of constant shallow gradient ups and downs will start emptying some legs before the forthcoming TTT and the real mountains rendezvous. We saw the damage at the end of yesterdays stage.

  3. Thanks as always Mr Ring. Your fondness for these roads really shines through – a place of special significance, your favourite place to ride or just really good roads?

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