The final day of the Dauphiné and a hard stage awaits with the hard Col de la Colombière to wear down riders and then the sharp climb to the Plateau de Solaison.
Verona the Gentleman: a stage win for Carlos Verona who managed the rare feat of holding off a voracious Primož Roglič. Verona gets a long-awaited win, he’s a worker but always promised to have his day too.
The Route: 139km and if not as many celebrity climbs as yesterday, there’s as much vertical gain with another 3,700m. The start is a spin away from the Ag2r Citroën team’s HQ and it’s straight up the flanks of Mont Revard to the Col de Plainpalais and across the Bauges plateau, where the mountain stage scenes of the Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert were filmed and it’s across to the Col de Leschaux, it’s all scenic with grazing cows rather than hard gradients. After a descent the race tours Annecy’s opal lake and then comes an unmarked climb of the Col de Marais.
The Col de la Colombière is listed as 11.8km but it’s really a 21km climb with 10km of 5-6% and then a short descent to reach the official start of the climb. The descent is fast but nothing wild, although it was enough for Chris Froome to put Richie Porte in trouble in 2017, if anyone’s up for some longer range action it can work as there’s only a short section across to the start of the final climb.
The Finish: 11.3km at 9.2% and described in fuller detail in a Roads to Ride piece. There’s a narrow pinch point just before the climb to line things out in a case a sizeable group is approaching the climb and then they round a bend and it’s 10-12% for the first four kilometres, a selective start as they tackle the section that climbs up the side of a cliff. Things ease up a touch once they reach the village of Brison but it’s only towards the top that the slope begins to back off before levelling off to 2-3% for the final straight to the line.
The Contenders: Primož Roglič or Jonas Vingegaard? Jumbo-Visma have had great week but can still too things off. Does Roglič seal his overall win with the stage as well, or does the Danish understudy get a share of the spoils? Either way the team can’t chose to do this but they can certainly race to engineer this outcome.
Weather: warm and sunny, 28°C in the valleys.
TV: the stage starts at 12:50pm and the finish is due at 4.50pm CEST. Tune in for the last two hours to get the Colombière and the Solaison summit finish.