When the wheels start spinning

February 24 th 2020 - 11:50

Bicycle races are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. The excitement of cycling has more to do with the twists and turns of each race than with the raw performance of elite athletes, as impressive as it may be. The Critérium du Dauphiné is designed to keep the suspense going until the end, whatever one thinks of how its proximity to the Tour de France influences the race. We have got used to seeing flashes of brilliance well before the race hits the snow-tipped peaks. In that sense, this year's deceptively calm and peaceful stopover in the Massif Central highland region has the potential to turn the race on its head. Similarly, nasty weather can tear up the script before the outcome is decided in the traditional mountain showdowns, which will take place in the same area as stage 17 of the Tour de France this year. This time round, we have pushed the fierce Alpine battle a few days back, as well as removing the traditional Wednesday time trial from the programme to avoid entrenched advantages and leave the race wide open. Thrills guaranteed.

Christian Prudhomme

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