Velominati Super Prestige: Critérium du Dauphiné

I'll have mine medium rare with extra clenbuterol, please. Photo via Cycling Weekly

The Tour de France looms on the horizon, and those riders planning to race are putting the final touches on their form – or going into last-minute panic mode, final exam cram-style. The Critérium Dauphiné has long been a favorite preparation race serving both purposes rather well.

It’s a favorite of the Tour’s GC contenders as it usually features stages that, if not identical to key stages from the Tour, will at least feature many of the same climbs; habitual Tour winners like Indurain, Armstrong, and Clentador have traditionally used this race as their preferred method of final preparation; riders seeking additional form will take the beating taken from a week of suffering and have just enough time to recover prior to the Tour. And, of course, riders who have aspirations in July may also find they are a few kilos heavy yet and may indulge in some ultra-lean Spanish beef in order to get to fighting weight.

It’s also a dangerous gamble: ride too hard at the Critérium and you could fire off the Guns of Navarone and enter the Tour in a state of fatigue, as Pharmy did in 2003. A delicate balance, this.

The challenge in predicting the results of a preparation race such as this is that the favorites for the Tour are (hopefully) peaking in one month, not during this event. But they’ll be good – maybe good enough to win. But probably not. Combine that with that the notion that a rider with little hope in July may be looking for glory and will be in peak form, leading to an unexpected result – a review of last year’s race with Jani Brajkovic is a great example of this case.

With that we kick off into the first minor-stage VSP for the Critérium Dauphiné. Being a week-long stage race, the points on offer are 7 for first, 5 for second, 4 for third, 3 for fourth, 2 for fifth, with the usual allotment of bonus points for getting the rider right but the place wrong.  Also, there are no rest days, so no rest day swaps, but we will have our usual approach for riders who drop out. Piti Principle applies as always. Also review the guide, being careful to note that the rules have changes a bit this year, and we may not have completely updated the guide yet, so if there’s a question, ask.

Best of luck to all.

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345 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: Critérium du Dauphiné”

  1. What happened to JVDB? I read that he fell near the finish. Do they have a 3k or 1k rule at the Dauphine?

  2. As the stage is finished and the race results are already published…
    Here are the photo gallery of the day with some shots taken pre-race and at the start of it, this morning in Voiron, France.

    Starting with some side dishes before the real meal…

    Bernard Hinault “The Badger” , 5 times winner of the Tour de France

  3. well it seems like there is a problem with the links …
    and without the EDIT function it’s a real PITA : sorry!!! )

  4. Here it comes . hopefully.

    Bernard Thevenet “Nanard” , 2 times winner of the Tour de France

    At the Dauphiné, the Tour is never far…

    This gentleman is sporting an embroidered writing who reads like this :
    Rules are made to be broken”

    He certainly has and in more ways than one. TFTC ?

    Beware the local racers from Voiron who show their weaponry and their guns

    ~90 years old rider, totally mad leader of a gang of young ones ( 70-75-ish )

    Jens Voigt favorite bike

    is there something more swiss made than that ?

    who says in Europe trucks are sized like vans ?

    Coming soon Pro Gear Galore !!!

  5. Here comes the PRO gear...

    starting with SKY..

    Well, where’s mine?

    Wiggins ride ( when is not on a 50’s Vespa…)

    Same as Boasson Hagen

    But nos as customized as the two Pinarello

    who can decipher the citation? ( British Champion, is it?)

    he seems to be equipped with an unmarked 0symetric chain ring


    SKY thinks BIG

    The gallery continues with the Shack, Liquigas,BMC and so on …

  6. @frank

    Sorry for the mess…

    Are my images too big that they should be seen in the Image Viewer?
    should i continue the gallery here ?

  7. The Shack …

    they sure have a strong design ( personal views)

    un Français en amérique

    Red is well nice in red

    Brajkovic Machine

    Detail close-up

    Red like Race like R

    it’s in the details

    lovely bits of white

  8. BMC Swiss Precision Cycling

    Can’t be fair. Total fan. I repressed myself todayto come in full BMC kit..

    Impec, Di2, SRM …Argh.

    nonchalant beasts

    Frontside of the Impec with his composite (p)lugs

    that’s a big one.

    aluminium bars almost everywhere

    Dura-Ace Di2 and SRM are the new Black in PRO cycling

    Di2 seemed to be installed in half of the entire Peloton

    Half/half also for Impec/SLR at BMC

    Some wear and tear already there for this dérailleur

    The Di2 battery can be quite concealed under the BB…

    Steve morabito’s Bike

    Michael Schar’s one

    Black bars can be élégantes

    Some BMC riders choose carbon rims more designed for flat stages

    Damned Foreign‘ Fans ))))

    The armada arrives.

  9. I think i snobbed the lampre Team… aieaieaie… should i spank myself with a Wilier top tube?
    Nevertheless here are some Italian delicatessen…

    Ernesto Colnago Design will never die with bikes like this…

    Equipped in Full Campa’ ( “Campy” is son non-Euro)

    Campagnolo Record 11 speeds for sure

    Even Campagnolo Bora Ultra Two Wheels..

    Still i got one from Lampre : here it is. Italianissima.

    Here is a the latest version of the Kuota KOM

    Nice cockpit, isn’t it ?

    Curious bottom bracket design…

    Reynolds Wheels & Sram Red transmission

    Oh, and these beauties from SKY Pinarello were lost in the Post…

  10. ..In the last set this marvellous Colgnago was missing and replaced by as swiss engineered machine. Here it is.

  11. and now in the same set..

    Some pictures from Garmin-Cervelo, Liquigas, Katousha, Astana, Euskatel, Rabobank…

    Riders in the storm are coming soon after this big last set…

    I want to clip this ring and go racing !

    The new Cannondale EVO frame : 695g in 57cm

    Evo fork and Mavic Cosmic rims

    an iconic green

    Cofidis new Look(s)

    Dumoulin! Dumoulin! Dumoulin !

    The very atypical Look stem

    At the Astana Bus covering from the rain…

    Waiting in line for better days …

    Rabobank was standing alone apart from the other buses …

    the Prologue ‘s winner ‘s bike.

    minimal PRO design

    Lapierre FDJ (replacement?) bikes

    QuickStep rides Merckx.

    HTC shows and ride the new and impressive Venge “Mc Laren

    aren’t you a little scared like me ?

    Martin from Highroad has a bike so new even stickers are still in.

    Katusha bikes from Focus looked great in “russian” colors

    close-up : the Look Blade

    Where do i remember this name?

    The Garmin-Cervelo S3 is very good looking in sober black

    Rotor, not Motor !!!

    Another Martin ( from Garmin-Cervelo now )

    hey, Delphinati!!! here come the racers !

  12. Those are awesome shots. I love the BMC stuff. Notice how all the bikes running Red are using Shimano cassettes? I called that a couple of years ago. The Red cassette is so noisy I figured Red with DA cassette and chain would be the hot set up. I’ll be switching my cassette when the Red wears out.

  13. The riders today were really elusive before race because of the weather : it was bad, bad, BAD… the really impressive thing is the simplicity and joviality of these sports..there , they are only in arm warmers and cyclin caps joking and smiling under hectoliters of rain like it was normal : oh, righto! just 200km Under the rain! yummy ! even if some were contrated ( more than normal) ..the vibe was quite cheerful and all!

    The thing is, they had just arrived to sign ( i was elsewhere ..) and the false start was’nt really impressive ( normal !)

    Here are the stolen shots!

    Hey Delphinati !

    the name of the game is who’s who???

    the pictures are just numbered
    at you to determinate the name of the racers!!!























    ..Bare in mind that i don’t know the answers …

  14. thanks for your support ! ( you’ll recognize yourself !) )))

    If any Velominati is thinking of coming near Grenoble to see the Tour or the French Alps… i normally look like this … I told you i was a BMC fanboy!

    Hope you liked the shots !!!

    Tomorrow I ‘ll be at the start of the stage 3 in my town for a Time Trial : Grenoble – Grenoble : 42.5 km .

    I’ve rided alone the same exact route last week’s rather interesting with some hard little climbs, technical descents and a total amount of 500-600m D+ …

    it should be fun to watch…

    Whatever the results of it, i should be at the start ( 4 streets away from home …) …I think there’ll be some excited TT PRO gear … unless they chose traditionnal bikes, which could well be the case knowing the Route…

  15. @Alpin
    Those are fantastic shots. Who needs any other site when we’ve got such pro photography here? Thanks. In recognition of your contribution, I propose you be given official exemption from Rule #50.

  16. @sgt

    In fact I consider Stijn’s socks to be an abomination before Merckx.

    I consider Voekler’s socks a sin before Merckx too…too tall and not white. It’s unholy

    Crazy Joe Devolder, hehehe

  17. @Alpin
    Awesome photos all round – both of the gear and the pros – although a couple of french mademoiselle would not have gone astray.

    Look stems are the business – have just managed to secure a 110cm version for my 595. Very happy – now throwing the Ritchey Carbon WCS stem into the back of brett’s shop…

  18. @Alpin:

    I need to go take a cold shower. A long one. Maybe two.

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! For the Bike Porn lol and all the other wow-you-are-right-there! shots. We are extraordinarily lucky to have you sharing with us!


    Thanks for making the images in-line. I’m as lazy as the next person – really nice to be able to stay here and just scroll through them.

  19. Superb pictures. Thank you. By the time I got to the Cervelo’s Rule #5 was very much in observance.

    edit. Oh…I just realized that’s not what it means…sorry.

  20. @Alpin
    Fantastic shots, thanks for letting us see them all. Hmmmmmm, carbon bikes are cool. It’s Campa from now on, this will be a tough habit to break.

  21. @all

    Thanks a lot for your comments : i think the terms “Bike Porn” and “Drool” are mostly appropriate … even more when you can touch these ..things ))

    For the Weather Forecast of today : Well, how can i put this?

    Yesterday’s one was bad, BAD… today, it’s much badder… still raining frogs, (yum) …the wind flows in the streets…and as the rain hasn’t stopped this night, the ground is very slippery and wet… racers would want to take extra care not to crash today…. it’s a quite uphill/dowhnill TT , and as we know TT bikes are not the most agile ones…


    “The Vicenza component maker is often known as Campy by American fans. French riders call it “Campa” and the British say “Campag”, with a hard G at the end.” from INNRG…

    stay with the original ‘-))

    to pronounce Campagnolo

  22. A little info about today’s stage…

    Is there any of you “worldwide” who manages to see some video footage LIVE or who knows if any TV channel records the race ?

    French TV “France 3” streams 1h15 per day LIVE and some recaps but not all the race… (((

    the stage

  23. @Blah

    Since we’re on gorgeous photography, some fantastic shots from the Giro here on the Cycling Tips website. Apologies if it has been linked elsewhere.

    Not so much bike p*rn but really captures the whole scene – he makes the race the subject not the rider. I think the framing and depth also sets it apart from a lot of cycling photography.

  24. @Alpin
    We get it in Australia via Eurosport on Foxtel (our cable supplied by that humble little Aussie battler Rupert Murdoch).

  25. Hi there !

    @ all

    Returning from the Battlefield of grenoble : all soldiers have their weaponry ready and their guns oiled … as the rain is now much less annoying … I got lucky and got full access to most stands, as the racers are goin’ for a short ride of 42.5 km , they all training in front of the buses and in the streets … it’s quite something to see! What a circus !

    Bike Porn amateurs , mechanics curious , and racers enthusiasts , wait for it…
    plenty more pictures tonight…

    @ ChrisO…

    Yeah , iknew this set and as yourself find it really original and beautiful…thanks for the link anyway!

  26. Netraam :
    Gesink put in a nice time trial, even though he was only testing himself.

    Absolutely. Good to see EBH have a great ride as well. Curious as to how Cuddles, JVDB and Roch will do!

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