Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Preview

A likely sprint stage. If you want to watch this on TV, note the very early finish.

Flying colours: if this year’s Dauphiné sets some tests for Remco Evenepoel, he’s passed the first one with ease. He won the stage, beating Josh Tarling by 17 seconds, Primož Roglič by 39 seconds and they were the only rivals within a minute. Evenpoel looked calm, his trajectories were prudent rather than desperate and he let his chainring do the talking.

This now sets up the second test for Evenepoel and his team, he is in yellow and it’s on him and his team to defend. He kept repeating “day by day” in post stage interviews and the high mountains remain the real frontier for him, more so as he’s making his way back from injury and doesn’t look razor sharp yet. It sets things up nicely for a duel with Roglič but plenty of others who are down on GC and so might have to move early which can make for lively racing.

The Route: 200km and over 2,000m of vertical gain, this is a possible sprint stage but far from certain.

The Côte de Givors climbs out of the post-industrial city of Givors but keeps going beyond the KoM point to the Col de la Croix Régis.

The Bel-Air climb closer to finish is nothing scary, a wide road.

The Finish: there are more scenic ways into Lyon, this one goes past the railway yards and factories for a flat finish and there are nine roundabouts in the last 10km and several turns and bridges over railways to contend with.

The Contenders: a rematch for Sam Bennett (Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale) and Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) and normally they can get over some climbs that others cannot which means today’s hill course is within their range.

It’s the last day though for riders who can’t climb so we should expect some moves in the finish.

M Pedersen
Grégoire, Gee, Lazkano, Page, Meurisse

Weather: warm but cloudy and the chance of rain, 25°C.

TV: note the change in the timings with the finish is forecast for 2.30pm.

Postcard from Saint-Priest
Today’s stage finishes in the suburbs of Lyon, France’s third largest city. Walk around Saint-Priest and amid the housing estates, hospitals and the sprawling Renault trucks factory there’s every chance you might spot a van with a “CNS” logo, or people wearing “CNS” branded clothes. It’s a cleaning company and there’s a cycling connection because CNS stands for Calzati Nettoyages Services, “Calzati Cleaning Services”.

Those with long memories might remember the ex-team Sky rider Sylvain Calzati, a Tour de France stage winner in 2006. CNS is his business and he’s been cleaning up in more than one way.

Swapping Team Sky for contract cleaning doesn’t sound like the most glamorous of retirement plans. But don’t imagine Calzati with rubber gloves and a mop… he took over the business from his father and has grown it rapidly. Last year he had over 150 staff cleaning 2,300 buildings, turning over €7 million a year and banking profits of €1 million. Now he’s just sold the business, presumably for many times the annual profit. He may have left Team Sky as one of their least famous riders but could now be one of their richest retirees.

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25 thoughts on “Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Preview”

  1. Plenty of others have given this feedback already but I am loving the “new” postcard feature.

    Inner Ring – the only place to find interesting, insightful long-form writing on pro cycling. In English anyway (and (cough) except today…which was a bit short).

    Adding to the chorus of thanks.

    • I’m yet another reader enjoying the period postcards. The surprise is that anyone could find such enhanced colour could make the destinations appear attractive. My partner has a weighty Flammarion L’art Culinaire Français from the seventies where the colour plates are improved in a similar way and make the dishes appear anything but appetising. It’s not a book for the gram-counting modern cyclist though loaded into a saddle bag could prove a traning aid.

      • I believe the saturated colours of these postwar postcards were due solely to the technical limitations of early quadrichromic offset printing.

  2. The TT yesterday answered some quetions and raised a few more, like what is wrong with Gaudu? Not that he’s a TT specialist but 4 minutes behind Remco does not bode well for the Tour.
    A re-run of the Bennett v Pedersen sprint seems on the cards today as the GC guys take it easy before the big mountain stages.

    • So much so, the commentators on Discovery+ kept repeating he must have had a crash or something to be that far behind. Which he didn’t — just bad legs?

      • I fear Gaudu learnt too much from Pinot about fighting GC battles.

        I was hugely excited for him when he was able to fight it out with Jonas and Tadej in Paris Nice last year, thought he might have been able to get involved come the tour, sadly he had evidently peaked early and they were just warming up.

  3. Hi all, I’m hoping to see stages 7/8 from the roadside, where is the best place to find the time schedule? I couldn’t immediately see it on the website, but it could be the result of poor checking! Thanks!

    • I would hope that they never arrive in peak fitness – that point will be wehn they need to make the difference. But I take your point generally.

  4. Hopefully Bennett is hungry for the rematch with Pedersen and makes it one each, also it’s compulsory for AG2R to win a stage in every stage race now 😀
    (I’m guessing the final 3 stages will all be won by GT contenders not breakaways alas)

    • Fingers crossed for Sam.

      Saw him at the national championships the other year, and he was an absolute gent and a star after the race, making time for all the fans, selfies, signing stuff, etc. Ben Healy was very kind too – though didn’t hang around quite as long after the ceremonies.

      Ryan Mullen was a bit grumpy – least immediately after. Maybe he cause he just got pipped off the podium by a lower level rider, after Ryan had spent most of the race working very hard pulling a small group (inc. Sam) around the course to try (in vain) to catch Ben. Don’t blame him too much, though… maybe a slightly more polite “not now” next time Ryan?

  5. After all the excitement and drama of the route and Pogacar’s antics in the Giro, the Dauphine so far has turned out a bit of a dull damp squid. Another day off for me.
    Maybe the high mountains will provide some drama and excitement.

    • Unfortunately we have the wrong kind of drama today.

      No damp squid (sic) but shiny wet roads. More bad news for Visma ahead of the Tour.

    • Me too, I prefer my squid fried/crispy but will probably take a look when they start the final climb today to see who is showing some form before Le Beeg Shew.
      Is Bora gonna morph into Redbull at the start of the Tour? I still wonder about the bike sponsor with the promo tie-up between BMC and the F1 side of Redbull vs the Big-S. Of course I’d like to see ’em dump Kim Il Sinyard and Co, but that’s just me.

  6. Never understood the evolutionary process from chateaux-y architecture to stuff like that. Was it a kind of post-WW2 self-flagellation or something?
    Anyway, hope he paid the cleaners well.

    • Oh, almost every contry went down the “Let’s see what this new concrete material can do” back then after The 2nd World War, challenging the laws of physics and optics with some of the most weird and ugly looking creations.
      Without being an expert on the subject, I think Le Corbusier was one of the foremost exponents of this along with Oscar Niemeyer.
      I’ve had the pleasure of staying in Brasilia for 4 months, working, and it really is the most bizarre collection of edfices on the planet. And, being built in a very short timespan, all buildings erode more or less at the same time driving up the repair costs immensely. But a lovely city, nonetheless.

      • The utilitarian – form is function – ethos of the Bauhaus and Mis Van de Roe had a big influence on brutalism – I imagine they loved bicycles for the sleekness and perfect utility – I love bikes for this too, but also because you need a human to power them – which is where I think the old modernists and the present day AI engineers seal their fate.

    • They were built en masse as cheap as possible, yet offered an immense leap in living standards.
      When my mum moved bought one of such apartments in the 70s, it was her first modern living space – previous apartments were lacking running water, kitchen, had a shared bathroom, or were heated with coal, …

  7. Does anyone keep stats on bad luck? I couldn’t find anything on procyclingstats. VismaLAB must be wondering what they’ve done to deserve this.

    • Karma? They blew their own horns and patted themselves heavily on the back in many, many ways after their stellar 2023 season. Seems like the old “law of averages” wants to even things out in totally the very next season?

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