Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Preview

The Dauphiné goes as far from the original Dauphiné region as you can get with a trip to the spa town of Salins and with it, a tough late climb.

Great Danes: Slovenian cycling fans have had it pretty good of late but the Danes must be glad, to use a Danish word. Not only did Mikkel Bjerg win the time trial, the second place went to Jonas Vingegaard and everyone else was left trailing. Ben O’Connor did a great ride but still lost 29 seconds to Vingegaard, almost a second per kilometre, Adam Yates was at 45s, Dani Martinez at 55s, Jai Hindley at 56s.

David Gaudu suffered in the heat and was over two minutes down; Richard Carapaz fared even worse, as did Mikel Landa. Enric Mas lost close to three minutes, although that included a 20s time penalty after his team car was driving too close. As much as all these names would wanted more from the day, spare a thought for Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r Citroën) and Ben Turner (Ineos) who both crashed out.

The Route: 191km and over 2,000m of vertical gain, most of which comes late into the stage when the race reaches the Jura mountains. While the Dauphiné route often overlaps with the Tour de France, it’s usually on the obvious mountain valleys and passes, today the déjà vu comes from the hilly part of the stage, the climb of Château-Chalon and the roads after are borrowed from Stage 19 of the 2020 Tour de France and then more roads are borrowed from Stage 19 of this year’s Tour. It’s all postcard scenery of gentle mountains and grazing cows whose milk makes the prized Comté cheese and the early climb near Ivory is more of a drag up.

The Finish: more déjà vu with the visit to Salins, last seen in April’s Tour du Jura when the race rode through the town and then tackled the climb to Thésy. It’s a steep forest backroad and starts hard with some 10-12% at the start and it carries on climbing past the KoM point. Then it’s down a wider road, still with some awkward bends, into Salins for a flat finish.

The Contenders: a sharp climb followed by a twisty descent and then a sprint from a small group? Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quickstep) is a safe pick, helped by a strong team. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) could be back in the same mood as the Basque Country where he was winning almost everything going and we’ve all seen his monster lead outs this week.

Once upon a time Omar Fraile (Ineos) would be a good pick but he could be on team duties here. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) can sprint well for his tiny build but Valentin Madouas is more powerful.

if you want more déjà vu then why not Maxim Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny) who rode the same finish in 2018 as part of the Tour du Jura when it was an U23 race, he didn’t win that day but set the Strava time up the climb that lasts and he’s been sprinting well from a group.

The breakaway has a chance today because a good proportion of the field know they won’t win in the next three days of the Alps so it’s now or never, all with the added tension of some riders wanting to catch their manager’s eye for the Tour de France selection. However there might not be enough collective power to get clear. Still Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Dstny), Dorian Godon (Ag2r Citroën) and Andrea Piccolo (EF) come to mind as quality riders although the form’s a question for all, plus Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) is a local of sorts from the Jura area.

Vingegaard, Fraile
Van Gils, Madouas, Carapaz, Tesfatsion

Weather: sunny and 26°C, feeling warmer on the tarmac.

TV: the stage starts at 11.45 and finish is forecast for 4.40pm CEST with live coverage from 3.00pm onwards.

27 thoughts on “Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Preview”

  1. Apparently Turner was on the Ineos TdF list and, after the crash, his Tour place may be compromised. He wasn’t going to win the stage or place on GC, so did he take unnecessary risks? Maybe it’s just a natural competetive instinct further enhanced after such a long and frustrating absence.

    • I don’t know what caused the crash, nor for Bouchard who was also a likely Tour pick. Jumbo have lost Kruijswijk and now Ineos with Hayter and Turner could be without two from their Tour long list. But of all the squads they have plenty of depth of course.

    • Maybe, just maybe those in power will start to consider that the aero advantages of everyone riding ‘funny bikes’ is being offset by the number of accidents that appear to be occurring on bikes which are known to be difficult to control and encourage head down riding. If riders rode a normal road bike, then all riders would start with similar advantages. and might cross the finishing line.
      We have a ‘dangerous weather protocol’, maybe the UCI should consider a ‘dangerous bike protocol’ or more simply ban the use of such machines!

      • As someone who rides one I would say it is a combination of the extra aero head down position, the slab sided nature of them that catches the wind and also the relatively new vogue of having your hands/forearms very close together and also pointing upwards. I’ve changed my position towards that recently and in winds it feels very unstable, especially when you emerge from relative shelter and catch a crosswind.

      • I’m pretty sure that the number of accidents in a tt is much less than on a road stage. And the ones that do happen are surely the result od DS screaming in to the ear peace of the lone cronoman.
        The solution is obvious, no more road stages only tt on regular road bikes and no race radios.
        And no powermeters.
        And no road assistance either, riders should fix their own crevaisons.

        • A more relevant question might perhaps be whether the frequency of crashes is greater for racers on time trial bikes or for racers while in solo breakaways on road bikes…

          Effort and fatigue levels would perhaps average out to fairly similar, although road stages will often cross more technically challenging terrain.

  2. I thought Bjerg was convincing in his win … kept it going right to the line. The confidence boost might see him do more of the same.

  3. I wonder whether the TT means very much. With so few kilometres against the clock in the Tour have contenders even bothered to spend time of their TT bikes?
    Regarding yesterday’s discussion, surely only a Dane could pronounce Bjerg correctly.

    • I don´t think a Swede, a Norwegian or a Finn would have any difficulty with it.

      And I´m pretty sure it would take less than two minutes for a monolingual Englishman to listen to a Dane pronouncing it on Forvo and to get his tongue around to pronouncing it reasonably well.

      • Well well, don’t add Finns to the mix! And I suspect that while Danes could get reasonably well the rest of Norse pronunciations, I’m not 100% sure that the other peninsula have the easiest life with the made-in-Denmark kierkegaardian jump of faith from written to spoken words.

        • I am Norwegian and can only affirm that Gabriele is right. I think there are very few Norwegians or Swedes that can pronounce «Bjerg» convincingly in Danish.

          • @MS: it´s not a question of being perfect, of passing for a born Danish-speaker.

            It´s simply a question of bothering to find out how the name is pronounced and then reproducing a reasonably good version of how the name is pronounced. Or, in other words, of not being purposefully ignorant – or believing that the spectators would get confused .

            PS Apologies for ranting, but, as you´ve no doubt noticed, this is a subject close to my heart

          • What’s close or not should be judged by that language’s speakers, if what we aim at is showing real respect rather than being self-content. I agree that mother tongue phonetic perfection shouldn’t be required, because respect is shown by the effort as such rather than an absolute final result. Yet, that said, if no effort is clearly bad and perfection is not needed, how much is enough? So often we measure that with our own language’s phonetic parameters (because it’s what we have), but the difference against what we expect to be “fine enough” can be huge (and source of social conflict – not in this context, of course). Phonetic and perception is complicated affair… I can “catch” a Greek speaker who’s speaking Spanish as not native more easily than native Spanish speakers, for a complex series of reasons as the type and number of vowels.

          • Noel, Rob Hatch gets Lithuanian surnames wrong – e.g. Konovalovas – the ‘-as’ suffix is pronounced just as an English-speaker would read it, but Hatch says ‘-ash’, like he’s Russian-isising it.

        • Pretty sure most Finns can cope with Swedish and therefore have at least a stab at Danish, it’s more that the Scandinavians would struggle with the unrelated Finnish.

        • Swedish is a compulsory subject at school for Finnish-speaking Finns. Besides, many Finnish-speaking Finns have Swedish surnames; a Bergström or a Strömberg is just as likely to be a Finnish-speaker as a Swedish-speaker.
          (There are often small differences in the pronounciation so that it is possible to tell them apart , but the names are not “Finnished” beyond recognition the way English-speaking commentators often do…)

          Spoken Danish *is* a little bit weird, that´s true – and I need subtitles to catch what´s being said in Danish TV series – but a Bjerg is a Berg is a Berg 🙂

          • @Nick also
            Got it. I made a linguistic point above but I understand that Thursday was indeed referring to current nationalities (and their implications) rather than any *abstract* mother-tongue effect, separated from a given social and historical context. Which make a lot of sense, of course. That said, English is compulsory in Italian and Spanish schools from the earliest grades, and yet I wouldn’t dare to generalise about Italians or Spaniards having no issue with English pronunciation (or even coming close enough). You’ve surely got a few great English-speakers, some decent ones, among both populations… but odds are quite simply against you when you pick somebody at random. Admittedly, the Finnish education system is regarded very highly.
            But, then again, there’s the point of also having to jump from Swedish to Dane, once you’ve already made it from Finnish to Swedish. Which I understood to be less than obvious, when we speak of oral language (*that* was the subject, I think).
            All that said, I suspect that we’re entering a borderline terrain of subtle grades about what is *close enough* (having a stab, struggling, needing subtitles, weird, “reasonably” well, “reasonably” good…).
            I’d say that in this specific case the speaker needs to face two partially conflicting needs: communication with his or her actual audience; and respect towards the athlete and the related language with its more or less correspondent sense of belonging to some social identity (usually nationalities).
            We shouldn’t forget that the audience also has a strong use of written media in its fruition of cycling, so they’ll already have some idea about associating a rider with a name (ok, that’s fine)… and that name to an usually wrong pronunciation.
            As a journalist, especially as the main, “general” voice, you may consider that part of your role is making diversity of languages and cultures visible (“audible”) – that’s precisely one of the several (many? Few?) positive points of having a more global sport, hence going for “less adaptation”. But the other priority, i.e., communicate must also be taken into account, especially if you want to stay inclusive through all the cultural (often = economic/class) range of your audience. Being able to cross pronunciation border can also often be related to privilege, although not necessarily so.
            Finally, of course it’s not all perfect symmetry all over the board, quite the other way around, so it must obviously be taken into account if the languages we’re speaking of do actually have a dominant sociopolitical history (and current status) or quite the contrary. All that, in relative terms (castellano in Latin America vs. Spanish in the USA).

          • Just a couple of probably silly examples. When I ask for an “Appletiser” in a local bar in some areas of Spain, I’d better not say “apple” + the -iser suffix as en English speaker would: rather UP-LET-EASE-ERR. But sometimes it doesn’t work and the waiter might even get slightly offended by the perception that I’m assuming an “ignorance” of sort on their part (albeit I don’t consider it as such!).
            Before vast video availability on internet, and Forvo, and so on, it was common for students or even scholars at early stages to mispronounce great authors’ names, one very classic being anglicising Walter Benjamin. Fun and all, until one starts to notice that it becomes a social marker of sort, because people who maybe studied and read a lot, really a lot, and often on their own initiative out of official course programmes, but had less access to live classroom (workers), even less so to any conference or congress, even less so to travelling to the authors’ countries… well, tended to be the ones associated to the above mistake. Less probabilities to get in touch with the correct spoken version, which was correlated to less time and money rather than less of an actual interest for the author or even depth of knowledge.

        • Talking of Kierkegaard, the name of the UAE rider now in front is actually Michel (de) Montaigne in Danish, as you will have guessed Bjerg is the local equivalent to the German Berg.

  4. Ben O’Connor & Fred Wright surprise top 5 in the TT. Ben O’Connor could well podium if he’s got some good climbing legs.
    UAE to try for Yates today? Vingegaard to show he can be just as an aggressive rider as Pogacar?
    Could be a lot of guys going up the road as some lost a lot of time and not much chance for the brekaway after today. De Gendt does not seem in good shape but normally he’d be a good outside bet.

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