See you in the Cantal!
January 24 th 2019 - 18:30
2019 will be the year of the bicycle for the Cantal. On expressing his best wishes for the year to the sporting world, Bruno Faure, Chairman of the Cantal departmental council, announced, alongside Christian Prudhomme, Director of Cycling for Amaury Sport Organisation, and Race Director Bernard Thévenet, that the Grand Départ of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2019 will take place on Sunday 9th June in Aurillac.
The 71st edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné will therefore be starting in the southwest tip of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region. For the first time in its history, the pack will stop over in a French department where it has not usually ventured in the past. An unprecedented route will promote special links with a region whose relief will not fail to appeal to the riders, to such an extent that it will be sponsoring the Polka Dot Jersey for the best climber.
This year, the organisers have concocted a hilly 142-km long first stage. Setting off from Aurillac, the riders will have to climb the Pas de Peyrol - Puy Mary ascension (10.7km with a 6% gradient) after 34 km. The “Pyramid of the Cantal” will be climbed from a different side than the one used the last time the Tour de France passed by in 2016. Two other difficulties will rise up in front of the riders before the final circuit in Jussac: the Côte de Saint-Cirgues-de-Malbert slope (2.6km with a 5.1% gradient) and the Côte de Saint-Cernin slope (4.9 km with a 4.1% gradient). After this point, there will be just 50 km left to cover. The most courageous attackers could take advantage of the double climb up the Côte de la route des Crêtes slope (3.6 km with a 6.8% gradient) to distance their rivals. The second ascension of this slope is only 18 km from the finishing line…
The following day, Mauriac will host the start of the second stage on the Critérium du Dauphiné. Out of the last seven editions, the winner of the race has gone on to win the Tour de France several weeks later on five occasions. Last year, the Yellow, White and Polka Dot Jersey wearers, as well as the most combative rider on the Tour de France all took part in the Critérium du Dauphiné, which makes this race an essential stepping stone for riders who want to shine on Le Tour.
The entire route of the Dauphiné will be revealed on 25th March at the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Regional Council’s headquarters.