Dauphiné time already!
8 stages again, starting in Issoire, close to Clermont-Ferrand, finishing in Les Gets close to Switzerland. Stage 4 is a time trial of 16.4k, 7 and 8 are real mountain stages, with 7 including Col du Pré and La Plagne, and 8 the Col de Joux Plane.
Startlist not complete, yet. So far we have the TdF contenders Thomas, Carapaz, G Martin, Gaudu and López, also Wout Poels, Quintana and de la Cruz. Jumbo leaves Roglic at home, but brings Vingegaard, Kuss, Kruiswijk. Van Avermaet is on the list as well and Jakobsen will do his first big race after the crash.
Richie Porte is the winner of Critérium du Dauphiné 2021, before Alexey Lutsenko and Geraint Thomas. Mark Padun is the winner of the final stage.
What can we expect? Lots of fun, certainly, but Ineos to dominate. Hopefully Gaudu will show more of what he has. As usual this is a tough race with some hardcore mountains, but unlike last year we get some flatter stages and a time trial back. You cannot use this as a light preparation race, but if you want to get some very serious racing into your legs before the Tour this is a good possibility. You can also use this to improve your French just before the Tour, so you know how to say "Où est la ligne d'arrivée?", "Avez-vous vu ma veste de pluie?" and "À Tokyo, s'il vous plaît."