Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Preview

Another day, another lumpy stage with a hilly finishing circuit that will put some of the sprinters in trouble.

Chambon cuit: Five riders were clear including past opening stage winner Brent Van Moer, and Donavan Grondin who’d take the mountains jersey. The peloton wasn’t a safe place as downpours helped to provokwe two crashes with Ethan Hayter, one of the picks for the day, among those falling twice and out of the race.

With the peloton chasing the breakaway was down to two in Rune Herregodts and Dorian Godon. The pair seemed to be battling to last longest from the breakaway to get the combativity prize for the day and Herregodts won, only he found himself on twisting, wet roads that were descending to the finish and he exploited this to rebuild a slender lead on the peloton to set up a thrilling finish. Nervously looking back multiple times in the final kilometre as Jonas Vingegaard in person led out the bunch, Christophe Laporte sprinted past for the win ahead of Matteo Trentin with a cooked Herregodts holding on for third. With Vingegaard setting up the win, other GC contenders didn’t have such a good day with Enric Mas losing 15 seconds thanks to a split in the finish and Mikel Landa 22 seconds. Also worth noting was Maxim Van Gils in fifth place, the Lotto-Dstny climber amidst the sprinters, not tipped in the general preview for the win but an emerging talent all the same.

The Route: 167km and another hilly day in the Auvergne region, another course with a finishing circuit that avoids some of the bigger climbs.

The principal difficulty of the finishing circuit out of Saint-Paul-de-Senouire, aka Saint-Pal, and the Côte des Guêtes which climbs to the village of Connangles but it’s a regular wide road and just one of several climbs and drags on the circuit.

The Finish: slightly uphill under the flamme rouge and then a long finishing straight that’s slightly uphill.

The Contenders: another hard circuit but a few more sprinters could be in the mix this time. Christophe Laporte needs the win to keep his yellow jersey and Jumbo-Visma should be up for helping him out, quid pro quo he helps back in July. Ethan Vernon (Soudal-Quickstep) was among the last sprinters to get dropped yesterday, we’ll see today if he can hold on. Maybe Sam Bennett can stay too, his Bora-hansgrohe leadout Danny van Poppel showed his quality yesterday by making the cut to finish sixth. The finish isn’t steep enough, nor perhaps wet enough, but former downhill skier Axel Zingle (Cofidis) is knocking on the door for a big result. Too hilly for Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Al Ula), surely but it depends how the race is ridden, his big chance is tomorrow.

Laporte, Vernon
Zingle, Dversnes, Menten, Groenewegen

Weather: sunshine at first but even the weather could copy yesterday, 20°C and a rising chance of a downpour in the afternoon.

TV: the start is at 12.30pm and finish is forecast for 4.40pm CEST and there’s live coverage of the final two hours.

10 thoughts on “Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Preview”

  1. Could Jumbo hold they jersey for a week?
    That was some race for a viewer on GMT-7 (I think…)–turn on the boob-tube and before the coffee is brewed it’s over and the poor guy gets caught.

  2. Hats off to Herregodts. He dreamed the impossible dream and so nearly pulled it off.

    The commentators on bike races say don’t look back when you have a lead. It was that close that I wonder if he would have made it without those four or five glances over his shoulder.

    I like seeing these team leaders pulling for their friend/team mate like we’ve seen recently with G Thomas and Vingegaard. It feels like a display of both strength and humility – always a good combo in my book.

    • It reminds me of when I was a teenager riding my city bike as hard as I could to be in time for school . I decided at some point that I would not take my arm off the handlebars to check my watch for the time to see if I was too late to make it. The action would slow me down and there was a slight risk that it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. So I just went full gas and hoped for the best. I think that with how close it was, that tactic could have worked for Herregodts.

  3. “The commentators on bike races say don’t look back when you have a lead.” My wife was saying the same thing. She won a few races back-in-the-day, so that along with my two-wheeled (with motor) “never look back” philosophy (that also worked a time or two) had me saying the same thing…but it can never be proven so I don’t think we can beat-up on the poor guy..I’m sure he’s wondering the same thing?

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