Test of truth against the clock

June 12 th 2019 - 04:52

Stage 2 has already shaped up the classification of the 71st Critérium du Dauphiné on a lumpy terrain but stage 4 is set to give the race a new hierarchy as it is a 26.1km individual time trial from Roanne and back. It includes a hill leading to the intermediate time check at St-André-d’Apchon, km 11.5. Roads are straight and rolling. The course is described as suitable for pure specialists. British rider Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) is a hot favourite. He lost one of his challengers as Portugal’s Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) quit the race in the middle of stage 3. Moreover, it’s an important test for GC contenders ahead of the Tour de France. In a similar stage two years ago, Richie Porte outclassed Chris Froome who adjusted his form before July. Both riders are back on track at the Dauphiné. On his first participation, Tom Dumoulin is also looking for answers about his personal capacities after his withdrawal of the Giro due to a crash on stage 4. It’ll be interesting to see how the various Thibaut Pinot, Jakob Fuglsang, Nairo Quintana, Michael Woods, Adam Yates, Dan Martin and Steven Kruijswijk go against the clock at this stage of their respective career. It’ll determine the mountainous part of the race at the end of the week. Therefore, Dylan Teuns will be under scrutiny too. The Belgian leader of the Dauphiné is confident that his current shape enables him to try and retain the yellow-blue jersey despite having only 24 seconds of an advantage over Froome.

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