The riders roll down the start ramp and are off for a fast race. Until the intermediate check at kilometre 3.5 the route is predominantly flat and at times descending. Then the route continues on level ground to the flamme rouge, while the last kilometre is a false flat. The 500 metres run-in to the line features a short 5% kick-up.
The route takes in a number of sharp bends. With 3 kilometres done two right angles follow in quick succession, while the riders face two U-turns with 800 metres remaining.
It’s been two years since the Critérium du Dauphiné opened with a prologue, although it was hardly the same thing. Only take a look at the winner that day – Alberto Contador – and his average speed – 20.7 kms/h. Yes, the 2016 Dauphiné did start with a long-busting uphill 3.9 kilometres time trial in Les Gets.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2018 Prologue: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom