It’s been six years since the Critérium du Dauphiné last visited Vaujany. Chris Froome was in his heyday en he won the stage ahead of Richie Porte and Adam Yates. The route was not at all like this year’s though.
The riders clip into their pedals in Saint-Chaffrey to enter the Col du Galibier from the start. Or, actually, first the Col du Lautarat and then the Galibier. The two passes together add up to 23 kilometres of climbing at 5.1%.
The Col du Télégraphe appears halfway through the descent, which is merely a 4.5 kilometrs false flat on this side.
The riders reach Saint-Jean-de-Maurice at kilometre 74 and that’s where the Col de la Croix de Fer begins. This is a giant of 29 kilometres long with an average gradient of 5.2%. The statistic is misleading though, as it’s an extremely irregular ascent. The first part features a number of double digit ramps, and downhills as well. The last 6 kilometres of the Croix de Fer are more steady with an average gradient of 7.6%.
The 25 kilometres descent is interspersed with two short climbs at shallow gradients.
The riders reach Lac du Verney – an artificial reservoir – with 5.7 kilometres remaining. No time to dawdle and the road goes vertical again. Very. Vertical. Especially in the first 4 kilometres with its gradient at 9.5%. The next kilometre is on descent before the last 700 metres climb to the line.
An interesting race in itself, stage 7 is even more exciting if you realise that the Tour de France will traverse virtually the same roads on Bastille Day. That finish will be different though – not in Vaujany, but in Alpe d’Huez.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Ride the route yourself? Download GPX stage 7.
Another interesting read: results 7th stage 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2022 stage 7: route, profiles, more
Click on the images to zoom