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ASO have unveiled the route of the 2024 Critérium du Dauphiné, with three summit finishes in a row set to round off the eight-day race, which also features a 34.4km time trial on stage 4.
The race, which runs from June 2-9 as a major lead-in race to July’s Tour de France, will feature two early uphill finishes and two sprint days among the first five stages. However, the headline stages are all packed into the final three days.
Summit finishes at Le Collet d’Allevard (11.1km at 8.1%), Samoëns 1600 (10km at 9.3%), and Plateau des Glières (9.4km at 7.1%) conclude the final three stages. The 145.5km stage 7 is set to feature as the queen stage – four first-category climbs in the Col des Saisies, Col des Aravis, Col de la Colombière, and Côte d’Arâches lead into the finale at Samoëns ski resort.
Reigning champion Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike) will return to defend his title in the run-up to his Tour de France defence. He’ll face off against Tour rivals Primož Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep), though the other member of the Tour’s ‘big four’, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), won’t be racing.
David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Tao Geoghegan Hart (Lidl-Trek), and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) are among the other big names set to start the race.
The opening stage of the race will be a 174.8km ride beginning and ending in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, one for the sprinters with no major climbs on the day aside from a trio of fourth- and third-category hills early on.
Stage 2, a 142km day from Gannat to the Col de la Loge, will bring the climbers out as the peloton tackles a second- and third-category climb inside the final 20km en route to the uphill finish and the first GC sorting of the race.
The next day brings another uphill test as the punchy third-category closer at Les Estables (3.8km at 5.2%) closes out an 181.2km stage. According to ASO, a rolling 34.4km time trial from Saint-Germain-Laval to Neulise is suited to “power riders”, with the fourth stage set to offer a major GC shakeup ahead of the final mountain days.
Stage 5 is the final chance for non-climbers to take a result. At 200.2km, the ride from Amplepuis to Saint-Priest is the longest of the race and should host a sprint finish. Next up is the ride to Le Collet d’Allevard, a 173.2km stage which features the second-category Col du Granier (8.9km at 5.4%), 45km from the finish.
The 145.5km stage 7 to Samoëns 1600 should be pivotal in the battle for the overall win, featuring as it does three high-altitude first-category climbs inside the opening 85km before another 32km from the line and then the HC-rated ascent to the finish.
Finally, the race will close atop the Plateau des Glières, which recently featured in the 2018 and 2020 Tour de France, albeit not as a stage closer.
It’ll be the first time in two years that the race closes with a summit finish – back then Roglič and Vingegaard crossed the finish line hand-in-hand at the Plateau de Salaison to seal a one-two overall finish. However, the 2024 race is set to bring a different dynamic between the two now-former teammates.