Why are there so few real sprinters at the start of the Dauphiné? Well, because there are few opportunities. On day one it will already be a dime on his side for the fast men, but they still have a chance. In the leader’s jersey watched the ride.
Route stage 1 Critérium du Dauphiné 2022
In the first stage of the Dauphiné we drive two loops; one longer and one shorter with the finish line drawn in it. In the long loop there are a lot of altimeters and we almost climb from the start. We reach the top of the Col de Leyrisse after 19.5 kilometers and it starts after 10 kilometers of racing. After that we stay on the same level and after just under 40 kilometers we start at the Côte des Baraques. These are climbs where the leading group of the day can be formed. The sprinters in the peloton will hope that the battle for the flight will not be too long.
We wish the sprinters good luck with an opening hour uphill…
After these two climbs we race for a long time in a slightly descending line and after 88 kilometers we turn onto the second local loop. The ascent of the Côte du Chambon de Bavas is central to this. With 4.7 kilometers at 5.2 percent, it is not a steep monster and there is more than 30 kilometers to ride after the last climb. Attacking from the peloton does not immediately pay off, so the sprinters certainly have a chance. In finish place Beauchastel a wide road is ready, with plenty of room to get out for a hard sprint.
The climb on the local circuit is not too difficult.
Start: 10.20 am
Finish: around 2:48 pm
Weather stage 1 Critérium du Dauphiné 2022
It will be hot on Sunday! At the start at 10.20 am it will be about 25 to 27 degrees in La Voulte-sur-Rhône and the mercury will only rise in the following hours, towards 30 degrees. With a wind of force 1 or 2 from the northeast, it will normally not play a role. At the finish in Beauchastel, 30 degrees and wind force 2 are forecast for Sunday, with a chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon.
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However much we give it the race of the day, in a first leg there are always too many teams with interests. Moreover, the course lends itself to a chase, where it is of course important that the fast men are still on board. In that respect, this sprint is something for Wout van Aert† The Belgian from Jumbo-Visma wants to go for the green in the Tour de France and so he can test his sprint legs here. The hills along the way play into his hands.
Big challenger of Van Aert is Dylan Groenewegen, who is one of the few top sprinters to choose the Dauphiné. The Dutchman has his sprint train with Team BikeExchange-Jayco (minus Luka Mezgec) and there are not so many opportunities this round for types like him. BikeExchange will therefore want to go for it. Other real mass sprinters on the list of participants are Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE), Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain) and Matthew Walls (BORA-hansgrohe). Molano won a stage in Boucles de la Mayenne last week and, like Van Aert, can also climb a little. Bauhaus comes from the Giro d’Italia, so the question is how fresh it is.
If it gets tougher and there is a selection in the peloton on the climb in the final, we will move Ethan Hayter forward at INEOS Grenadiers. The young Briton has proven many times before that he can win a sprint from a thinned group. Also men like Clement Venturinic (AG2R) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) will want to throw themselves in such a situation.
Finally, the escapees, who traditionally also have a chance in the first stage of the Dauphiné. Some interesting names: Remi Cavagnan and Josef Cerny (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), Franck Bonnamour (B&B), Kobe Goossens (Intermarché), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ).
Readers’ favorites stage 1 Critérium du Dauphiné 2022
Bram van der Ploeg (Twitter: @BvdPloegg † e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)