Pro-cycling fans are treated in Valence. A prologue and also the departure of the first stage, while next July the 13th stage of the upcoming Tour de France starts in the birth place of French riders Guillaume Bonnafond and Axel Domont.
On the road to Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert it’s hard to find a section on level ground, but the riders don’t face Tourmalet-like slopes either. The toughest task looms shortly after the start. The Col de Leyrisse is a 8.5 kilometres 2nd category hill with an average gradient of 4.5%, while the other climbs are 3rd and 4th category.
Obviously, the first KOM-points of the Dauphiné are up for grabs at the Leyrisse, yet the route continues to climb for a while. It’s only after some 20 kilometres before the riders drop down. Following a short section in the valley the road goes back up gain. The Col de Désaignes and Côte Saint-Agrève are two climbs in alignment, totalling at 11 kilometres. The Désaignes is 5 kilometres at 4,5% and the Saint-Agrève 6 kilometres at 5%.
Following a rolling section of over 50 kilometres, containing the Côte de Terrière (1.6 kilometres at 6.3%), the riders tackle the Côte de La Croix de Marlet. This 2.2 kilometres hill at 4.7% is crested with 40 kilometres to go. Some 11 kilometres further down the road the riders enter a circuit and they cross the finish line for the first time 4 kilometres later.
Amounting to 12.2 kilometres, the closing circuit is raced two time. This local round features the climb to the Grangent reservoir (1.3 kilometres at 4.5%), which therefore is included twice. The last time over the top is with 4 kilometres to go.
The first three riders on the line win time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds. The race doesn’t include intermediate sprints.
The expected arrival is around 16:30 local time.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2018 Stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Details of the finish
Video final 5 K
3D bird’s eye route
Valence and Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert at Google Maps