February 10 th 2022 - 12:00

Key points:

  • The route of edition 74 of the Critérium du Dauphiné from 5 to 12 June, which will start in the Ardèche for the first time, has been devised so that complete riders can contend for the title.
  • The array of terrain over the eight stages, until the final climb to the Plateau de Solaison, will offer the best climbers like Enric Mas or David Gaudu, as well as the leading all-rounders like Wout Van Aert and Rémi Cavagna their shot at victory. There will also be opportunities for Julian Alaphilippe, Sonny Colbrelli and Benoit Cosnefroy to put on a show and for sprinters Dylan Groenewegen and Jasper Stuyven to chase down stage wins.

While the race still seems far away, the decor has already been chosen and promises to see the most complete riders among the world elite at the sharp end of the order. An ability to excel on different stage profiles, to mobilise a team, capable of protecting its leader(s) in all circumstances, and the instinct to sniff out the right moves will be assessed from the opening stages. The first-ever start in Ardèche will allow the riders to test themselves on the intermediate climbs. It’ won't necessarily exclude the sprinters, except on day three for the first battle of the climbers expected on the slopes of the Puy de Sancy. The nearly 32-kilometre-long time-trial the following day between Montbrison and La Bâtie d'Urfé will form a logical hierarchy of title contenders as the race reaches the mid-way point. At this juncture of the race, the all-rounders will have the advantage!

All reversals of the situation will still be possible as the race heads to the Alps. The approach stage to Gap might seem innocuous at first sight, but its distance of nearly 200 kilometres will weigh heavy on the legs before the riders take on the weekend program. Between Saint-Chaffrey and Vaujany, the peloton will ride for most of the short day on the route of stage 12 of this year's Tour de France, with the climbs to the Col du Galibier and the Col de la Croix-de-Fer, before reaching the Isère ski resort. The race's final stage on Sunday afternoon has already proved its mettle. In its only previous appearance on the Dauphiné route, the climb to the Plateau de Solaison in 2017 saw Jakob Fuglsang strip Richie Porte of the leader's jersey. A magnificent opportunity for the climbers who will be out for revenge.

The stages of the 74th edition:

Sunday 5 June stage 1: La Voulte-sur-Rhône > Beauchastel, 191.8 km

Monday 6 June, stage 2: Saint-Péray > Brives-Charensac, 169.8 km

Tuesday 7 June, stage 3: Saint-Paulien > Chastreix-Sancy, 164 km

Wednesday 8 June, stage 4: Montbrison > La Bâtie d’Urfé, 31.9 km (ind.-tt)

Thursday 9 June, stage 5: Thizy-les-Bourgs > Chaintré, 162.3 km

Friday 10 June, stage 6: Rives > Gap, 196.4 km

Saturday 11 June, stage 7: Saint-Chaffrey > Vaujany, 134.8 km

Sunday 12 June, stage 8: Saint-Alban-Leysse > Plateau de Salaison, 139.2 km

Critérium du Dauphiné 2022 - Découvrez le parcours / Discover the route

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