With the Giro d’Italia over, we’ve barely had a week of relaxation in cycling activity. This very Sunday, June 2, the Critérium du Dauphiné, a race that usually serves to give the finishing touches to the preparation of those who will compete in the Tour de France a month later.

A race that has traditionally been a must for those aspiring to the yellow jersey of the Tour although, in recent years, has ceded some of its prominence to races such as the Tour of Switzerland or Tour of Slovenia. However, this 2024 edition of the Critérium du Dauphine becomes a real mock Tour not only for its demanding route but also for the level of participation that will gather at the start in Saint Pourçain sur Sioule.

Favorites to win the Critérium du Dauphiné 2024

Although many of the lineups of the teams participating in the Critérium du Dauphiné 2024 have yet to be finalized, the calendars of many of the world’s leading cycling teams will include the French race this season.

This is the case of Soudal-QuickStep, which presents its luxury team with Remco Evenepoel ready to prove that he is capable of overcoming the high mountains, his unfinished business if he wants to storm the Tour de France with full guarantees. The Belgian will count on the invaluable support of Mikel Landa who, in his new role as a luxury support rider, without the pressure of the leadership, has regained the freshness with which he amazed us not so long ago.

Another team sending a squad very similar to the one we will see in the Tour de France is INEOS Grenadies with Carlos Rodriguez as leader, who returns to the competition after winning the Tour de Romandie. After the break and the usual concentrations at altitude in May, the rider from Sexitano will be looking to corroborate his form and strengthen his confidence for the month of July.

If we talk about aspirants to conquer the yellow jersey is inevitable to mention Primoz Roglic at the head of a Bora-Hansgrohe, in one of the last races before they begin to wear the colors of Red Bull, which is really scary. At the Critérium du Dauphiné they will have a large part of their artillery, including riders like Jai Hindley and Aleksandr Vlasov.

Visma-Lease a Bike’s lineup is not unnoticed either. For the Dutch team, this Critérium du Dauphiné becomes a kind of experiment in case Jonas Vingegaard fails to fully recover for the Tour or, in case he does, fails and a plan B is needed. In this race, the Visma-Lease a Bike team will be shared between Matteo Jorgenson and Sepp Kuss who must prove that they are able to take the baton in the Grande Boucle if necessary.

Finally, we cannot forget to mention UAE Team Emirates where, obviously, Tadej Pogacar, who will not race until the Tour de France to give him time to recover after the Giro d’Italia, will be absent. In his place, the leadership goes to Juan Ayuso who, despite his youth, should be ready to take the baton in case the Slovenian does not get the desired performance in the Tour.

2024 Critérium du Dauphiné route

The Critérium du Dauphiné 2024, which will be held from Sunday, June 2 to Sunday, June 9, will consist of 8 stages, divided between the broken terrain of the Massif Central and the Alps.

The race begins with a completely flat day that serves as a kind of warm-up before a second stage of medium mountains in which the first finish is in high, in Col de la Loge, which is reached after linking two climbs where the last 20 kilometers are almost all uphill so it should begin to clarify the general classification even without big differences. The profile is similar to that of the third stage, which concludes on the Cote Les Estables, this climb being much steeper than the previous day’s and offering a day that is suitable for a breakaway to win.

However, the contenders for victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné 2024 will have in the third stage their first touchstone in the form of an individual time trial with a not inconsiderable 34.4 kilometers that will surely condition the script of the following days.

After that, a day awaits, which a priori should be a transition day in terms of the general classification, with a leg-breaking route full of small climbs. For its part, the sixth stage will be flat until its final 40 kilometers in which the climbs to the Col de Granier and the finish at Le Collet d’Allevard will be linked, the latter of which is already very demanding and where, for sure, the men in the general classification will be the protagonists.

Just an appetizer for the two final stages of high mountains where the race should be clarified. Stage 7 will link Albertville with the ski resort of Samoens 1600 with the Col de Saisies, the Cote d’Araches and the tough Col de la Ramaz in between. For dessert, another mountainous finish with the beautiful Plateau des Glieres as a backdrop.

Source: www.brujulabike.com