Stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphine will be one for the punchers, with three climbs inside the final 35 kilometres of racing sure to put the pure sprinters under pressure. Join the Roar’s live coverage of the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine from 9:45pm AEST.
The Dauphine is the main lead up race to the Tour de France, and with a stacked field lining up; it should be an exciting race for the full eight stages of the event.
The opening stage consists of eight climbs over the 170 kilometre route which starts and finishes in the French city of Saint Etienne.
The climbing starts early, with the Col du Pilon starting after just 7 kilometres. The climb is a signal of what is to come for the riders, with the category three climb being 4.8 kilometres at 5.1 percent.
The riders then have some respite after the initial uphill start until 55 kilometres into the stage, with two category four climbs of the Côte de la Roche (2.2 km at 6 per cent) and the Côte de Périgneux (1.4 km at 5.8 per cent) greeting the riders a third of the way through the stage.
Rolling roads after the third climb of the day continue the up and down nature on the stage, before the riders attend to the longest climb on the days proceedings, the category two climb of the Côte de Saint-Romain-les-Atheux, which is 6.8 kilometres long at 5.2 percent.
Not long after the summit of the 2nd category climb, the riders will be onto the category four climb of the Côte de Tarentaise, which is 2.4 kilometres at 5.8 percent.
After the climb if completed, the route descends until we hit the first of three loops around the finish town of Saint Etienne.
The 15 kilometre circuits have one major obstacle, with the category three climb of the Côte de Rochetaillée, which is 3.4 kilometres in length and averages out at 5.4 percent. The climb is completed with 36, 21 and 6 kilometres to go, making it a decisive part of the race route.
Even the punchy sprinters may struggle to stay in contact today.
Join The Roar’s live coverage of Stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphine from 9:45pm AEST.