The Tour starts at the Dauphiné

The big favorites for the title at the Grande Boucle will meet their strength at the Criterium du Dauphiné (August 12-16). The five stages finish high.


The Criterium du Dauphiné knocks on the doors of cycling in this atypical year 2020. The French race (from August 12 to 16) always enjoys a great show and is also synonymous with the Tour de France, since it is its prelude par excellence and where all those favorites who dream of the highest step on the Champs-Elysées show their cards.

The edition of this course will be the most particular thanks to a journey that looks exciting. The Dauphiné, traditionally of eight stages, will consist of only five, but with profiles that invite the strongest to show themselves. Leaving aside the flat days and the time trials, each stage will end with a high finish, with Col de Porte (Hors Categorie) as the highlight of the event: 17.5 km at 6.2% average slope. In addition, this second stage will be the shortest of all, with only 135 kilometers that invite attack cycling.

Tridents and favorites

As they already demonstrated last week at the Tour de l'Ain, the spotlights will be placed on the two fashionable tridents of this sport, held by Jumbo-Visma and Ineos. Both blocks were far superior to the rest of the teams when the road turned up, with a special mention for a Dutch team that finished off the work of Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk with Primoz Roglic (victory in the last stage and overall). The Slovenian seems to be a point in form above his most immediate rival, an Egan Bernal who will try to improve his sensations to start the reconquest of the Tour on the right foot. Covering the Colombian will be Chris Froome again, who seems to have assumed his role of luxury gregarious with total professionalism. It remains to be seen if Geraint Thomas, who left the most doubts, shows up in the important moments.

From the duel between Slovenian and Colombian, the range of applicants opens. The names point to the cream of cycling: Julian Alaphilippe, Nairo Quintana, Tadej Pogacar, Miguel Ángel López, Thibaut Pinot, Romain Bardet, Adam Yates, Rigoberto Urán, Emanuel Buchmann, Richie Porte or Dan Martin, among others (Fuglsang, current champion, will not be). And as for the Spanish options? Movistar will go with everything, that is, his trident formed by Alejandro Valverde, Marc Soler and Enric Mas as the best asset, although the Mallorcan started the course on the wrong foot in the Vuelta a Burgos. For his part, Mikel Landa will be the leader of the Bahrain McLaren again, and if he continues with the good level shown in the Burgos round (second overall after Evenepoel), he will be a contender for everything. The Tour starts at the Dauphiné ...

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