Critérium Du Dauphiné Stage 8 Preview

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.

Gaudu, Chaves

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.

30 thoughts on “Critérium Du Dauphiné Stage 8 Preview”

  1. Something tells me we’re going to see a leadership battle in Jumbo this July. The moment Primoz has a wobble, and he will have one, Jonas is on a go rogue.

      • Agreed, though Roglic potentially may have to be prepared to watch Vingegaard ride away if they try the old 1/ 2 move.
        Does Vingegaard have the finishing speed of Roglic though?
        It’s an interesting dynamic, the Dane came in with a little shake of the head yesterday, maybe not too happy?
        Nice Shakespearean reference but there were two gentlemen in his tale.
        Is Vingegaard happy to play the “no, after you sir” role in July also?

        • Based on today/this week Vingegaard is stronger than Roglic. There’s something of the Wiggins/Froome in my eyes. Still think Pogacar will win but agree that if Roglic doesn’t make it this year he’ll have to concede leadership to Vingegaard in 2023

          • Roglic has a big advantage – the TT. And he shows he’s capable of climbing steep gradients; although, would he be able to go with Pogacar? If not, Vingegaard won’t wait.

    • Something tells me the outside world will be brought a leadership battle narrative by the media, while Jumbo Visma has things under control internally. Going with 2 riders that can podium is smart risk management. Anything can happen – with Primoz, but with Jonas too. The assumption Primoz is the designated main leader is false, I think.

      You can try to scrape as much drama off of it as possible, but in the end, it’s a luxury problem for the team if these 2 guys are in winning position after 2 weeks. If they are both still there, that might even be the key for wearing down Pogacar. Worst case scenario is they do a Sunweb-Giro with Kelderman and Hindley, don’t make a clear choice and end up losing the win.

      • The problem is, Pogacar is probably stronger then both JV leaders. There is little hope Roglic would raise the level to beat him, but Vingegaard raised the level himself last year, on Ventoux etc. So from the longer-term strategy point of view, Vingegaard may be JV’s hope to finaly win the thing.

        Until something happens to Pogacar, JV will expect to lose (although hope to win, of course).

  2. A reassuring ride for Roglic and an OK outing for O’Connor (can he do it 2 days in a row) but the special advertising prize goes to Uno-X for their surge on the penultimate climb.
    Don’t know who will win today but would be nice to see Johannessen keep the white.

  3. I heard Uno-X described in last night’s commentary (based on their kit) as ‘Liptstick and Custard’. I may have snorted out loud!

  4. Lovely write up. I like the decisiveness of only 4 riders getting contenders rings (totally appropriate given what we’ve seen).

    In “The Contenders” paragraph there’s a mangled sentence: “ Jumbo-Visma have had great week but can still too things off.” It’s pretty clear what you meant, but thought I’d mention it.

  5. ‘The descent is fast but nothing wild, although it was enough for Chris Froome to put Richie Porte in trouble in 2017.’
    It was on the nearby descent of the Mont du Chat the following year that Porte crashed out, taking Dan Martin down as well.
    -Porte may not be the ideal indicator of the difficulty of any descent.

    That 2018 smash on the descent to Chambery – Porte straightlined a kink and took too much LH verge, coming back to hit a rock wall on the R and bouncing into Martin’s path – makes you realise how easily a complete Tour stage could be curtailed by a leading rider or two coming down and laying injured in a narrow road. There must be some people ready with a quick decision, and of course you have to hope the riders stay safe.

  6. If Rolland makes it to the finish, he’s KOM for the race and 2,000 Euros richer (he’s 38 points ahead and only 37 available today). B&B Hotels should be happpy. Uno-X surprised with the move to the front of the peloton, but does that indicate the speed was not so high? Anyway, good to give it a go. Noticed Ganna came in with Mas & Izagirre – that should not be happening. Today, always fun with an uphill start. Break to take it and Jumbo to follow any moves? Suppose Ineos & Bahrain might try something but who’s got the energy after Saturday?

      • I think that Rob was suggesting that Ganna being able to come in with Mas and Izagirre is evidence that the peloton didn’t ride the final climb as hard as they might have. In his judgment, had they really raced it, the heavier Ganna would not have been able to finish with those climbing specialists.

  7. The good thing about 1 week races is that you don’t get breaks where everyone is an hour behind and the peleton trundles in 12 minutes behind. J-V won’t be able to cruise despite diminishing threats.

  8. Kind of surprised that O’Connor didn’t merit even a single chanring given that he was the only one to respond in any manner to Roglic yesterday (and only ended up losing 15s in the end). If any of the non J-V GC contenders might be able to do something, it’s surely him.

      • Exactly, the ratings are for winning rather than placing. Obviously sometimes these overlap a lot but riders who are diesels can place but often not win. O’Connor is impressive and improving but I just couldn’t see him having that zip to win the stage today. He did very well today and is turning in to Ag2r’s Bardet 2.0, who can time trial better as well. They’ll be wrapping him in cotton wool for now, then tethering him to Oliver Naesen’s seatpost for the opening 5 stages of the Tour 😉

  9. That’s the first time I’ve thought anyone has a real chance against Pogacar this year.

    Exceptional riding from L-V, having Kruijswick as a domestique rather than co-leader is a game changer for them, although just a hunch that Vinny might possibly be stronger than Rog once Pog puts the hammer down?

    Pog loves a rainy day so interested to see if the heatwave weather continues and there isn’t a mountainous wet day whether this could be a closer year?

    Really impressed by O Connor, great determination to keep them within sight.
    Expecting him and Vlasov to be amongst the best of the rest if the avoid crashes next month.

    Disappointed with Jack Haig actually, seems like he’s not kicked on after last year?
    And wonder what Ineos is thinking? I cannot see Martinez nor Yates being close to ROG/POG/Vinny – and worried Geraint is over his peak…

    • Thomas seems to be settling in to a “diesel domestique” role, though he could still be a GC card for Ineos, depending how the race plays out. I honestly don’t expect to see Ineos on the TDF podium this year (unless they get very lucky or display some sort of brilliant tactical nous). If Bernal were there, it would be a different conversation.

    • GT is a race of attrition. I suppose Martinez has a chance, although I won’t bet on him.

      The problem of J-V is Vingegaard may be able to climb with Pogacar and Roglic may be able to TT with Pogacar… but can any of them do both?

      On the other hand, have we actualy ever seen Pogacar competing against top oposition in a GT, nevertheless TdF? I suppose perhaps not: in 2020, J-V probably underestimated him; and the rest is history. But – with hindsight – they made tactical mistakes and let Pogacar back in the race; and iirc they never put him under pressure afterwards; so he duly went for the jugular. In 2021 he had no competitor, basicaly; although during the race, he perhaps found one in Vingegaard. We all suppose he is in a league of his own, and he may very well be, but…

      I would like to see Hindley, Vingegaard, Roglic, Pogacar and Bernal fignting each other. 🙂

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