The lead-up race to the Tour de France begins with stage 1 on a circuit near Albertville. All six rounds bring the 1.2 kilometres Côte du Villard, a climb at 8.7%.
While the opening-stage might bring an opportunity for the sprinters, stage 2 does too, yet it is not straightforward. The first part of the race offers two categorized cols while the last 50 kilometres are as flat as it will go in this year’s Dauphiné. The next day it’s a matter of dying and keep on pusing at the same with stage 3 leading in a 24.5 kilometres TTT from Roanne to Montagny.
On rolling hills, stage 4 takes the riders to Sisteron, while stage 5 is an exact copy of the 17th stage in the upcoming Tour de France. The route leads from Digne-les-Bains to Pra-Loup and offers a finale with the long climb to Allos and the challenging descent leading to the closing climb up to the ski-resort. On these slopes Eddy Merckx’ impressive career started to falter exactly 40 years ago.
The 6th stage takes the riders in 183 kilometres to Villard-de-Lans on the magnificent Vercors plateau. It’s a tough stage in which six cols are to be crested and the next day the route is kicked up a notch. Stage 7 to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc offers a similar profile, only with steeper and longer climbs. The finale features the short and steep Amerands – 2.7 kilometres at 11,2%, and then without hardly any delay the 7 kilometres closing climb at 7.7% kicks in, which should detonate the fireworks.
The final stage leads from Saint-Gervais to Modane. On rolling terrain six categorized cols lay waiting, two labelled category 1. Actually the last 50 kilometres are all uphill, be it a false flat or tougher. The final climb is 8.4 kilometres at 5.7% – top finish!
Critérium du Dauphiné 2015: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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How the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné was won
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