Criterium du Dauphine: Chris Froome set for final warm-up race before Tour de France

Last Updated: 01/06/13 2:06pm

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The Criterium du Dauphine is the final chance to fine-tune form before the Tour de France

The Criterium du Dauphine is the final chance to fine-tune form before the Tour de France

Sky Bet

The favourites for victory at this summer's Tour de France will get one last chance to fine-tune their form at the Criterium du Dauphine in France from June 2-9.

Chris Froome (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) are all set to be on the start line for a demanding week of racing that represents a key warm-up for their bid for the yellow jersey three weeks later.

A mountainous parcours awaits the riders, with only one of the eight stages not featuring a barrage of categorised climbs.

There are two true summit finishes, on stages five and eight, and two hors-categorie ascents for the riders to negotiate, including the legendary Alpe d'Huez, which will also feature twice in the Tour.

Team Sky will be hoping Froome can deliver their third consecutive victory in the race, after Sir Bradley Wiggins's back-to-back triumphs in 2011 and 2012.


Stage 1: Sunday, June 2 - Champery to Champery, 121km

There is no gentle introduction to this year's race. With the ink still dry on the sign-on board, the riders are sent up a category-one climb, the Cote de Morgins, which summits just 12.5km from the start line. It is the first of the day's two category-one climbs and four categorised ascents in total, and although it is unlikely to shake-up the general classification, it is a clear indicator of the terrain to come. A breakaway could go clear on the climb, but it is likely to be hauled back in on the Col du Corbier, after 76km, or Pass du Morgins, after 101.5km. That should bring the bunch back together ahead of a category-three climb and short flat to the finish line.

Stage 2: Monday, June 3 - Chatel to Oyonnax, 191km

The race moves west across the southern shore of Lake Geneva on another hilly route littered with no fewer than six categorised climbs, five of which come in in the second half of the stage. The two crucial ones will be the third last and last - the Cote du Communal and Col du Sentier. Both category two, the Communal, which summits 28km from home, will likely see the peloton thinned down over its 5.6km distance, before the Sentier, 11.5km out, could see a final selection made ahead of a downhill sprint to the line for either a lone attacker or a reduced bunch.

Stage 3: Tuesday, June 4 - Amberieu-en-Bugey to Tarare, 167km

Stage three is the gentlest road stage of the race, with just two category-three climbs on an otherwise flat route to negotiate. The first, the Col de Echarmeaux, is unlikely to have a major impact on the race other than slowing down the breakaway, but the second, the Col des Sauvages, offers more scope for gaps to open up. It averages 5.5 per cent in gradient over its 4km distance - just enough to encourage attacks ahead of another breakneck descent to the finish line. It will be a good chance for the breakaway to stay clear, but if they fail, a reduced-bunch sprint is likely.

Stage 4: Wednesday, June 5 - Villars-les-Dombes to Parc des Oiseaux, 32.5km individual time trial

Day four sees the riders given a break from the mountains but thrust into a demanding time trial. The mid-length course includes prolonged stretches of straight road, so will reward those who can merge sustained high power outputs with streamlined form. There are a handful of sharp, technical turns, however, that will leave little room for error on an otherwise high-speed, pan-flat route.

Stage 5: Thursday, June 6 - Gresy-sur-Aix to Valmorel, 139km

The race heads straight back uphill on day five for a lumpy stage containing three categorised climbs and an hors-categorie summit finish. The opening 125km of the 139km stage should see a breakaway go clear but, with the first three climbs only category three and four, there is unlikely to be much action among the general classification contenders. However, that all changes just under 13km out, when the road rises steeply up to the finish line atop the Montee de Valmorel. What is left of the breakaway will be swept up early, and then the favourites for overall victory will come to the fore as they look to put time into their rivals over the climb's 12.7km distance and average gradient of seven per cent.

Stage 6: Friday, June 7 - La Lechere to Grenoble, 143km

Day six serves up another hilly stage with four categorised climbs, only this time ending with a long and technical descent to the finish line. After a flat opening 50km in which a breakaway will pull clear and probably open up a sizeable gap, the climbs arrive in quick succession: Cote d'Arvillard (category four, 60.5km), Col du Barioz (category one, 80.5km), Col des Ayes (category two, 90.5km) and Col des Mouilles (category four, 98km). The road then rolls gently for about 20km, before plummeting down to the finish line in Grenoble. The day is another golden chance for a breakaway rider to claim victory.

Stage 7: Saturday, June 8 - Le Pont-de-Claix to Superdevoluy, 187.5km

The race's queen stage is more than worthy of the title thanks to five categorised climbs, including the iconic, hors-categorie Alpe d'Huez. After leaving Le Pont-de-Claix, just south of Grenoble, the road the road rises gently up along a valley bottom towards the foot of the climb to Alpe d'Huez, in Le Bourg-d'Oisans. From there, it is a 13.2km, twisting ascent to the top averaging 8.1 per cent in gradient, after which the riders will then have to dig in again to reach the adjoining, category-two Col de Sarenne. Another tricky, technical descent is followed by the category-one climb up the Col d'Ornon, still with only 101km ridden. The route then rolls gently for around 50km, before two more back-to-back ascents to finish the stage: the category-one Col du Noyer and then the category-three rise to the finish line. Alpe d'Huez comes too early in the stage to have a decisive say in the outcome, but the Noyer could provide the ideal platform for a lone attacker to take a famous win.

Stage 8: Sunday, June 9 - Sisteron to Risoul, 155.5km

Last day of the race, but that doesn't mean things get easy. On the contrary, three final categorised climbs, including a potentially race-deciding summit finish, await the riders. The first 100km should see a breakaway go clear but relative calm in the peloton, with the only test being the category-three Cote de la Breole, after 52.5km. However, the bunch could well get blown apart on the 10.4km climb to Col de Vars, which summits at 119km and averages 6.9 per cent in gradient. A fast descent could see any gaps stretched ahead of the category-one climb to the finish line at the top of the Montee de Risoul, which is just shy of 14km long and averages 6.7 per cent. The first man to the top here could well be the man on the top step of the podium.

Jerseys and points allocation

Four jerseys will be on offer at the Criterium du Dauphine:

- Yellow and blue: General classification
- Polka dot: Mountains classification
- Green: Points classification
- White: Best young rider

Mountains classification

- Hors cat├ęgorie: 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6 and 5 points to the first 10 riders.
- Category one: 15, 13, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5 points points to the first eight riders.
- Category two: 10 - 9 - 8 - 7- 6 and 5 points to the first 6 riders.
- Category three: 4, 3, 2 and 1 point to the first four riders.
-Category four: 3, 2 and 1 point to the first three riders.

Points classification

Intermediate sprints: 5, 3 and 1 point to the first three riders.
Stage finishes: 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point to the first 10 riders.

The general classification and best young rider classification will both be won by the riders with the lowest overall time at the end of the race. To qualify for the best young rider classification, riders must have been born on or after January 1, 1988.

Teams and riders

Argos-Shimano: Nikias Arndt (Ger), Warren Barguil (Fra), William Clarke (Aus), Yann Huguet (Fra), Thierry Hupond (Fra), Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Francois Parisien (Can), Thomas Damuseau (Fra).

Astana: Jakob Fuglsang (Den), Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel), Assan Bazayev (Kaz), Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Aleksey Lutsenko (Kaz), Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz), Andrea Guardini (Ita).

Blanco: Laurens ten Dam (Ned), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned), Juanma Garate (Spa), Robert Wagner (Ger), David Tanner (Aus), Bram Tankink (Ned), Marc Goos (Ned), Stef Clement (Ned).

BMC: Brent Bookwalter (USA), Yannick Eijssen (Bel), Amael Moinard (Fra), Thor Hushovd (Nor), Dominik Nerz (Ger), Marco Pinotti (Ita), Manuel Quinziato (Ita), Lawrence Warbasse (USA).

Bretagne - Seche Environement: Jean Marc Bideau (Fra), Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor), Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg), Armindo Fonseca (Fra), Arnaud Gerard (Fra), Florian Vachon (Fra), Sebastien Duret (Fra), Florian Guillou (Fra).

Cannondale: Maciej Bodnar (Pol), Federico Canuti (Ita), Damiano Caruso (Ita), Alessandro de Marchi (Ita), Kristjan Koren (Slo), Maciej Paterski (Pol), Jose Sarmiento (Col), Brian Vandborg (Den).

Cofidis: Yoann Bagot (Fra), Jerome Coppel (Fra), Christophe Le Mevel (Fra), Luis Angel Mate (Spa), Rudy Molard (Fra), Daniel Navarro (Spa), Rein Taaramae (Est), Tristan Valentin (Fra).

Europcar: Natnael Berhane (Eri), Anthony Charteau (Fra), Cyril Gautier (Fra), Davide Malacarne (Ita), Kevin Reza (Fra), Pierre Rolland (Fra), David Veilleux (Can), Thomas Voeckler (Fra).

Euskaltel-Euskadi: Samuel Sanchez (Spa), Mikel Astarloza (Spa), Pello Bilbao (Spa), Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa), Gorka Izaguirre (Spa), Egoi Martinez (Spa), Mikel Nieve (Spa), Romain Sicard (Fra).

FDJ: Nacer Bouhanni (Fra), Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra), Arthur Vichot (Fra), Anthony Geslin (Fra), Geoffrey Soupe (Fra), Kenny Elissonde (Fra), Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra), Alexandre Geniez (Fra).

Garmin-Sharp: Michel Kreder (Ned), Andrew Talansky (USA), Rohan Dennis (Aus), Jack Bauer (NZ), Caleb Fairly (USA), Koldo Fernandez (Spa), Alex Howes (USA), Jacob Rathe (USA).

Katusha: Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa), Daniel Moreno (Spa), Alberto Losada (Spa), Sergey Chernetskiy (Rus), Xavier Florencio (Spa), Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus), Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Timofey Kritskiy (Rus).

Lampre-Merida: Damiano Cunego (Ita), Kristijan Durasek (Cro), Elia Favalli (Ita), Massimo Graziato (Ita), Manuele Mori (Ita), Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg), Jose Serpa (Col), Davide Vigano (Ita).

Lotto-Belisol: Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel), Jelle Vanendert (Bel), Gaetan Bille (Bel), Bart de Clercq (Bel), Sander Cordeel (Bel), Jurgen Vandewalle (Bel), Dennis Vanendert (Bel), Tim Wellens (Bel).

Movistar: Alejandro Valverde (Spa), Sylwester Szmyd (Pol), Eros Capecchi (Ita), Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa), Juan Jose Cobo (Spa), Jesus Herrada (Spa), Benat Inxuasti (Spa), Angel Madrazo (Spa).

NetApp-Endura: Leopold Konig (Cze), Bartosz Huzarski (Pol), Cesare Benedetti (Ita), Jan Barta (Cze), David de la Cruz (Spa), Jose Pimenta (Por), Daniel Schorn (Aut), Paul Voss (Ger).

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step: Sylvain Chavanel (Fra), Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol), Tony Martin (Ger), Nikolas Maes (Bel), Gianni Meersman (Bel), Frantisek Rabon (Cze), Pieter Serry (Bel), Martin Velits (Svk).

Orica-GreenEDGE: Simon Clarke (Aus), Simon Gerrans (Aus), Wesley Sulzberger (Aus), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri), Fumiyuki Beppu (Jap), Michael Matthews (Aus), Mitchell Docker (Aus), Travis Meyer (Aus).

RadioShack-Leopard: Haimar Zubeldia (Spa), Tony Gallopin (Fra), Jan Bakelants (Bel), Laurent Didier (Lux), Ben Hermans (Bel), Markel Irizar (Spa), Benjamin King (USA), Thomas Rohregger (Aut).

Saxo-Tinkoff: Alberto Contador (Spa), Michael Rogers (Aus), Timothy Duggan (USA), Jesus Hernandez (Spa), Benjamin Noval (Spa), Sergio Paulinho (Por), Nicki Sorensen (Den), hris Anker Sorensen (Ned).

Team Sky: Chris Froome (GB), Richie Porte (GB), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor), Peter Kennaugh (GB), Vasil Kiryienka (Blr), David Lopez (Spa), Ian Stannard (GB), Geraint Thomas (GB).

Vacansoleil-DCM: Lieuwe Westra (Ned), Wout Poels (Ned), Johnny Hoogerland (Ned), Thomas de Gendt (Bel), Kris Boeckmans (Bel), Sergey Lagutin (Uzb), Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa), Rafael Valls (Spa).

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