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Critérium Dauphiné Stage 6 Preview

The first of three mountain stages, today’s route is all about the final climb and it’s twisty descent with 20 hairpins to the finish.

Stage 5 Review: a breakaway of three but including Stéphane Rossetto and Alessandro de Marchi who are known for being able to stay away but not this time. We got a promised sprint only there are few sprinters in the race and their teams couldn’t control the race properly. First Philippe Gilbert and Edvald Boasson Hagen had a go as they rode into Voiron, then in the dash to the line Wout van Aert powered to the line for the win, the first rider to win a time trial and then a bunch sprint… since Christophe Laporte last week in Luxembourg.

The Route: 229km into the Alps. The Col de la Chambotte is a long ramp up the side of a cliff, a scenic ride but hard with 5km at 8% and followed by the climb to Lachat which takes the riders up onto the Plateau des Bauges, a picture-postcard land of Alpine pastures before the Col du Frêne which is more of a descent than a climb. Then it’s along to the Maurienne valley and the race takes the side road up to Saint-Georges d’Hurtières, it adds more climbing with 5km at 6% (and perhaps helps unblock the main valley road below).

The Finish: the “Col de Beaune” is the big climb of the day and it doesn’t exist, or rather it’s really the Col de Beau Plan. It sits on the other side of the valley of the more famous Col du Télégraphe and is 8km at 6.6% and steady for the most part before some hairpins near the top, an ideal place for a late attack before the narrow descent to the finish. From the top it’s just 7.5km to the finish, of which 6.5km are a descent with over 20 hairpins before a flat finish in town.

The Contenders: there are over 100 riders at least five minutes down on GC and so there’s space for plenty to get up the road but among them the winner will surely have to be a useful climber to cope with the final climb. David Gaudu is out of contention on GC but could be retained to work for Groupama-FDJ team mate Thibaut Pinot today and the coming days. A similar story for other riders on other teams like Carlos Verona (Movistar), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) and Robert Power (Team Sunweb).

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) could win from the breakaway or from the front group, the final climb is short enough for his explosive power if he wants to take on the big contenders directly and he’s not a direct threat either being over 16 minutes down on GC. Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos) blows hot and cold, today he could try but perhaps the final stage suits more. Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto-Soudal) is one to watch too.

Among the main contenders, Adam Yates (Mitchelon-Scott), Michael Woods (EF Education First) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) have the punch for the final climb over Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Jacob Fuglsang (Astana).

What about Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)? He’s on a run but surely his weight is too limiting today on this climb… but he could lose ground only to make it up on the descent, his handling skills help but crucially his power to sprint out of each hairpin could see him take back lost ground. Still he’s too hot to ignore right now.

Julian Alaphilippe
Adam Yates, Michael Woods, Thibaut Pinot, Bjorg Lambrecht
Kwiatkowski, Quintana, Fuglsang, Verona, Gaudu, Martin, WVA, Teuns

Weather: a pleasant 27°C in the valleys but a good chance of rain showers and even a thunderstorm later on.

TV: coverage starts at 3.00pm and the final climb should start around 4.00pm, the finish is forecast for 4.30pm CEST / Euro time.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stuie Friday, 14 June 2019, 6:28 am

    I’m interested in seeing what WvA can do on a day like this, I know he won’t win, but will he try and follow the climbers for as long as he can or will he try and get in the break.

    • Alex222 Friday, 14 June 2019, 7:13 am

      My guess would be a day in the gruppetto

    • Ecky Thump Friday, 14 June 2019, 8:59 am

      WvA has been a force majeure this week (in its French sense rather than the Latin) and has even confounded our genial genius host with his performances, to the extent he gets a rating in a mountain stage preview today!
      I think that Inner Ring’s covering all bets here, surely the young Belgian will not be a factor today?

      • RQS Friday, 14 June 2019, 12:28 pm

        Well if Kruiswijk’s comments are anything to go by he maybe. The climbs are not particularly selective, though the distance is long. He may well manage the category 2 and do well on the descent. He should be interesting to watch given his TT ability.
        Given my comment before Wednesday’s stage I have to keep eating my hat – he is the new Merckx… 😉

  • StevhanTI Friday, 14 June 2019, 7:26 am

    He’ll probably shepherd Kruiswijk through the to the foot of the final climb and then take it easy.

    • Anonymous Saturday, 15 June 2019, 3:42 am

      You nailed that.

  • Anonymous Friday, 14 June 2019, 8:06 am

    Other than its length this stage doesn’t seem very selective. Teams will really need to attack to get any time gaps.
    Wout Van Aert for the win. He’s the new Merckx.

    • Kenny Friday, 14 June 2019, 8:59 am

      Like busses, you wait forty years for a new Merckx then three come along at once…

      • dave the rave Friday, 14 June 2019, 9:16 am

        Who are they?
        Are we witnessing a serious group of talent emerging (excuse the spelling):

        MVdP / WVA / Sivakov / Bernal / Emenpoel / Lambrecht ?

        It seems that each week I read about a new explosive rider. Who else?

        • Andy R Friday, 14 June 2019, 10:36 am

          Tadej Pogačar, Eddie Dunbar is still quite young, Ivan Sosa athough he didn’t pull up any trees at the Giro (Ineos have quite a lot of exciting young riders), Kasper Asgreen is having a very good season

        • Thomas Friday, 14 June 2019, 1:10 pm

          Gaudu, Mas and Hirschi are worth mentionning as well.

          • Kevin Smith Friday, 14 June 2019, 3:46 pm

            +1 for Pogacar

      • Charles Friday, 14 June 2019, 10:58 pm

        One wonders whether that translates properly for the non Brits that read this site

    • Timo Friday, 14 June 2019, 1:36 pm

      His TT was outstanding for sure but yesterday’s sprint was not a full-on mass sprint so don’t go all crazy about his can-do-everything abilities. Talented yes, just like MvdP, and I love to watch these guys race. But he has not been against the grand tour riders for three weeks and I think today will show if he can climb with the lighter boys.

    • Vitus Friday, 14 June 2019, 4:56 pm

      What’s all this “new Merckx” BS about? It’s like looking for a “new Ali”. There was only one and there will be never another. Deal with it.

      • RQS Friday, 14 June 2019, 7:47 pm

        For my part it’s a joke. He’s certainly a very promising rider, but I made the point before the TT that he hadn’t done anything and then he went and won. He did one better yesterday and so I’m having to eat my hat.
        Of course he’s not the new Merckx, but he’s certainly putting himself on the map by hogging all the jerseys (bar two) and enjoying a lot of podium time.

  • Denzil Friday, 14 June 2019, 9:26 am

    Must be Alaphilippe – can win the stage in multiple different ways.

    • Davesta Friday, 14 June 2019, 10:24 am

      The stage really does seem tailor-made for him. But perhaps he’ll be marked too heavily? Not that that’s stopped him too much recently…

      I think Michael Woods could be a good contender for today – he lost a fair bit of time in the TT, so won’t be marked too much by the GC guys, and has the explosive power for the shorter climbs to get away over the top. Whether he’s improved his descending enough to hold the gap to the line though, is another thing (remember the Tour de Suisse stage where he struggled on the final descent…)

  • Reuben Friday, 14 June 2019, 9:34 am

    As always, inrng, thanks for the previews. A staple of my morning routine when there is a big race on.

    Small typo correction – near the start “road into Voiron” should read “rode into Voiron” I think.

    Feel free to delete this comment.

    • Magovi Friday, 14 June 2019, 11:43 am

      Yeah, I agree. One of the most dedicated cycling sites around. Kudos to the boss

      • Foley Friday, 14 June 2019, 5:04 pm

        Yes, with apologies to Lennard Zinn and Andrew Hood this site is better than Velonews e.g.

  • Paul Friday, 14 June 2019, 9:51 am

    It’s beautiful in this area not too selective which should make for an exciting finish down those hairpins as they arrive with a big pack

    Froomey getting another GT win from his hospital bed some small consolation for the nice guy

    • plurien Friday, 14 June 2019, 11:53 am

      Canny move by RCS to make sure his plaster is in rosa. They got one over on ASO with the timing 😉
      Let’s hope he can make a full recovery, but it’s complicated so maybe the best thing would be to aim for rehab that’s good enough for a full life after cycling. Not a good way to end any career, but sometimes you just have to settle for it and make the best you can. Nobody could expect more of him. And I hope all the schadenfeude has now ended.

      • Anonymous Friday, 14 June 2019, 1:02 pm

        I suspect Froome will fight to return for one more push next year. But if not then he might find it wryly amusing that, at the end of all that, the only man who categorically dethroned him was himself.

    • RQS Friday, 14 June 2019, 12:31 pm

      Not often you get awarded a GT without pedalling a stroke. I may just put my feet up and wait….

    • Vitus Friday, 14 June 2019, 4:58 pm

      Nobody awarded Froome with any GT win in his hospital bed. Get your facts straight.

  • escarabajo Friday, 14 June 2019, 12:43 pm

    Quickstep really messed it up yesterday. They were killing themselves with 17km to go, and had nothing left with 5 to go. They lost Hodeg, who all the work was for, and then their remaining riders worked independently of each other. For a team like them, on a WorldTour stage, to place 3 in the top 10 but not win is not great.

    • not yoda Friday, 14 June 2019, 2:13 pm

      Given lack of sprint teams, I think QuickStep may have tried to do things differently. They arrived with a first-class ragtag bunch of stage hunters instead of the proper leadout that suits Hodeg. Maybe they tried to give the impression of pulling for a sprint, and then trying to pull a surprise win like earlier in the year. It worked then for Alaphilippe in front of Viviani, this time it looked like a mess. Win some, lose some.

  • Larry T Friday, 14 June 2019, 4:57 pm

    Hope you wagered a ton of loot on Alaphilippe today Mr. Inrng! I watched the final 15 kms or so and wondered about his bike. The front wheel wags back and forth like a happy dog’s tail! The Bora guy was (I assume) on the same make/model (though it looked to be one size larger?) but his bike did nothing like this. Alaphilippe’s all over the road, including off the road a time or two. I’ve had clients tell me these (Big-S Tarmac I assume?) bikes are super sensitive to steering inputs and also beat the hell out of them (but strangely, this seems to be as much feature as bug for them?) so I wonder if it’s the bike or more Alaphilippe’s riding style? Either way, it doesn’t seem to slow him down any, but a few centimeters more today and he might have been next to Froome in the hospital.

    • Lukyluk Friday, 14 June 2019, 8:58 pm

      No idea if Bora and DQT use the same brand of bearings, but I expect any difference in steering is mostly due to how you grease the bearings and how tight you screw the headset, every rider would have his preference and settings.

      Alaphilippe is known for being pretty expressive on a bike, shifting left and right very sharply. I assmue the CX background also helpa pulling it off – constant feel of balance and very small corrections would come more naturally. I honestly love that way of riding, particularly stylish, even though it’s quite unforgiving: you look ridiculous when you don’t have the legs for a quick surge, or when you’re too tired to readjust properly, and you tend to veer waaaaay too far.

      As for his mistake on the descent, it looked more like a lack of concentration because of fatigue (he looked cooked to me, unsurprisingly after 215km in the break so soon after starting competition again), not an issue with his bike.

      • Larry T Friday, 14 June 2019, 9:36 pm

        “No idea if Bora and DQT use the same brand of bearings, but I expect any difference in steering is mostly due to how you grease the bearings and how tight you screw the headset, every rider would have his preference and settings.” is an interesting claim. My decades of turning a wrench make me doubt teams or riders are using grease or excessive bearing preload as any sort of steering damper.
        As to your fatigue claim, while I admit watching only the final 15 kms of this long stage, this is far from the first time I’ve noticed the constantly wagging front wheel of Alaphilippe’s bicycle and wondered if there was anything inherently unstable in this make/model/size or is it just his style of riding?

    • Foley Saturday, 15 June 2019, 2:24 am

      Went and checked the video to see what Larry T-roller was on about. (Love ya Larry, don’t go changin’!) Tuning in to the final climb, no sooner did I think “Contador” than the announcer mentioned his name in regard to Alaphilippe’s style. El Pistolero used to weave his front wheel while out of the saddle with elbows locked and I always thought it had the effect of shortening his gear-length slightly when going uphill. Alaphilippe’s style is much more haphazard but might have the same effect, and judging from the final sprint Alaphilippe had no legs to spare. It was also quite windy, though others were holding a line much steadier than JP.

      • Foley Saturday, 15 June 2019, 2:27 am

        Er, JA…

  • PaulG Friday, 14 June 2019, 11:40 pm

    If you watch Loulou on a fast descent he always turns into a corner very late and twitches the bike in. Much later than other riders. Brake in a straight line, then boom, heal it over. Carry the speed into the corner. Rather than the softer, brake a little more gentle and come off the brakes as you are turning into the corner.
    In my world, motor racing, he has a style like Michael Schumacher, who always wanted a pointy, twitchy car. Get it into the corner and then sort it out once you are in there. No comforting understeer.
    Just his style….