Criterium du Dauphine 2024 – GC Preview

The first weeklong races leading up to the Tour de France. It is a race where you get a feeling regarding how well their preparation for the Tour de France have currently gone. Especially the last stages give us a good idea regarding what to expect from the in the near future.

Stage 1

A sprint stage.

Stage 2

The climbers will already have show themselves on day 2. The stage can be quite hard to predict, as we will not see any teams with a sprinter control the stage. Still, it does not look difficult enough for GC gaps. We should see a GC sprint, there will be some bonus seconds up for grasp.

Stage 3

Another hilly day. It should be the same riders contesting for this stage. It does not look as hard as the day before, but it does look too easy for any GC men to attack. Another sprint between the GC favorites.

Stage 4

The long time trial. Hilly with 450 climbing meters. I doubt the first time check will leave huge gaps, as it mainly is on flat terrain and straight roads. Once we know their time on the second intermediate time check, we have an idea of who is going to win. A big day in the GC. The gradients are not very difficult but it makes it very hard to settle into a rhythm.

Stage 5

We should see this day won by the sprinters. The second sprint stage so far.

Stage 6

The first mountain top finish. Le Collet d’Allevard was last used back in 2011, seeing Joaquim Rodriguez win the stage in Criterium du Dauphine. The stage beforehand is relatively easy, meaning the main part of the action consisting of 7 km at 8.9% (the last 7000m) isn’t enough for the GC to explode.

Stage 7

A tough day. The valleys do help recover but we should see large time gaps. It is the hardest mountain stage this edition. It is where the GC will be won, I can tell you that. Samoëns 1600 sounds more like a washing machine than a climb but it does look extremely demanding after a tough day on the bike.

Stage 8

It could become a day for the breakaway, despite them rarely having many chances here. If the GC is settled, I’d give them a chance. I’d also make an argument that the last climb is 6.75 km at 8.9%, while the last 2500m are more or less flat.


The weather seems a bit all of the place in the coming week. We will see sunny and rainy stages.


The winner will have to be a fantastic climber. Stage 7 is a very demanding day with multiple tough climbs. The time trial is a little hilly, and I honestly think that will create smaller GC gaps than a pancake time trial would do.

Jorgensen – The American was on his way to blowing everyone a way in the spring but then suddenly became human. He was perhaps not the cobbled-classics rider I assumed he would be, yet. He still took the overall win in Paris-Nice, proving he is a very good week-long racer. Criterium du Duaphiné is very different, especially the mountain top stages are more difficult. Another thing is his time trial, he has not done a single ITT all season. It really leaves a questionmark for him. I think he will finish just near 5th.

Ayuso – He continuous becoming better. He has an extremely good time trial and he should be able to contest the bunch sprints on stage 2 and stage 3* (Thanks gašper). It isn’t something he usually does, as we saw in Basque Country in April. I honestly have a geniune feeling that he can end up struggling on stage 7, it is often the mountain marathon days that gets him (see Tour de Suisse 2023, Tour de Romandie 2024). However, sometimes he does well on the hardest stage, as we’ve seen in Vuelta a Espana. I think he aims for the podium and it can be done. Just around top-3.

Roglic – He has completed one race this season, the Paris-Nice. He didn’t fancy the French weather one bit. 10th there was somewhat underwhelming but it isn’t his goal of the season. Then a stage win in Basque Country, even after missing a turn in the time trial. That is when I knew, Primoz is not out of the race. Then the Basque Country crash(es). It has been a long way since then, and now we are wondering, is he back in shape? I think he is. He starts as the main favorite, if you ask me.

Evenepoel – 1st in Algarve. 2nd in Paris-Nice. Crashes out of Basque Country with Vingegaard and many, many others. He broke his collarbone, you are usually back on the bike rather quickly following that type of injury. I’d assume he wins the time trial, the length of it sort of removes many irregularities. Stage 7 may be a difficult stage for him. He also has his bad days on tough mountain stages (La Vuelta 2023, stage 13). I can’t say if that happens in the coming week but I would not be surprised to see him lose two minutes there. As it is a week-long race, I think the chances are slimmer. A top-3.

Tao G. Hart – I had high hopes for him this year. Now, six months later, I think it is about time things started to go his way. LIDL-Trek is a good team but soon they would like to see value for their money. He tends to be difficult to predict. He could finish in the top-5 and he could finish in the top-15. I think somewhere in the top-10 is where he will end up.

C. Rodriguez – the lemur of Almuñécar with his family from INEOS always following him. Still just 23 years old. He started slow but did very well in Basque Country and Tour de Romandie. You tend to forget him in the opening stages and then he pops up when it matters. I think we can expect a strong time trial from him but I too fear stage 7 can pose as a problem. Yes, he won stage 14 in the Tour de France 2023 but he has is irregularities when it comes to mountain marathon days.

Who will win?

I will take a win for Primoz Roglic.

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