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An enticing poster with the Pogacar-Alaphilippe duel and two final stages that can hurt, the 2021 edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné (May 30-June 6), whose route was unveiled Monday in Lyon, should give rise to to “a real nice big fight” according to its organizers
The Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE), last winner of the Tour de France, and the French Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), reigning world champion, will be at the start of this 73rd edition which is regaining its usual place in the schedule, three weeks before the start of the Tour de France (June 26-July 18)
Unless the coronavirus and health restrictions reshuffle the cards, as in 2020, when the event was rescheduled in August and reduced to five stages
If the Colombian Daniel Martinez (EF), winner of the 2020 edition, is not yet guaranteed to take the start, the event will look good With Pogacar and Alaphilippe therefore, but also the British Christopher Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos), winner of the last Giro, the Colombians Rigoberto Uran (EF) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar), or the French Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), while Thibaut Pinot will finish with the Giro
As for several years, the finale will be conducive to reversals until the very last moment
The Col du Pré and the climb to La Plagne (out of category) as well as the Cornet de Roselend (2nd cat) are thus on the program of the 7th and penultimate stage on June 5 between Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux (Isère) and La Plagne (Savoie)
Six climbs are planned on the last stage between La Léchères-les-Bains (Savoie) and Les Gets (Haute-Savoie) during which the peloton will have to cross in particular the Col de Joux Plane (out of category) which should be decisive
“It is a concentrate of mountain as regularly in the Dauphiné which is often played on the last day as in 2020 with the battle between Daniel Martinez and Thibaut Pinot and will be the case again this year We must certainly not forget the time trial, “said Christian Prudhomme, manager of ASO, the race organizer.
“Everything is ready for a really nice big fight to win and prepare for the Tour de France Not to mention the set with the presence of Pogacar and Alaphilippe in the poster, it doesn’t hurt, “he said.
A time trial of 16.4 kilometers is thus on the program for the 4th stage between Firminy and Roche-la-Molière (Loire) over a distance which makes it possible to avoid too large gaps before tackling the Mountain
For race director Bernard Thévenet, “it’s a balanced course for all types of runners”
“But in the end, the Dauphiné is always won by a complete rider in good physical condition”, he said.
The former winner of the Tour de France (1975, 1977) does not yet know if there will be spectators
“At the moment, there are no (restrictions), because we don’t yet know what will happen in May There will certainly be gauges to respect, hoping that everything is free “, he noted.
“But if this is not the case, we will act to respect the sanitary rules This is what made it possible, last year, to the races to be able to exist “, recalled Bernard Thévenet.
Critérium du Dauphiné, 2021, Julian Alaphilippe, Tour de France
News – EN – Critérium du Dauphiné: a route conducive to “brawls” – France 24
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