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. Netraam :
    @Buck RogersVDB is looking good, but I think Brajkovic and Wiggins will get close to Martin

    I don’t know. He was 1:30 down at the first check point.

  2. Dutch commentator on Wiggo: “He’s going through these corners like a gandpa with a walker.”

  3. Buck Rogers :

    Netraam :@Buck RogersVDB is looking good, but I think Brajkovic and Wiggins will get close to Martin

    I don’t know. He was 1:30 down at the first check point.

    VDB, that is. Wiggo is making it a race again!

  4. Big shuffle on the GC and thus on the VSP. Marcus takes the lead, and I’ve somehow landed 6 points, which is the first time that’s happened this year!

    [vsp_results id=”8490″]

  5. OK… so that’s the last time I pick Basso, I think he’s more than TMFP. With three more mountain stages tho, I’m still liking Vino, Jurgen and Tommy V.

    I’m sticking with “Campy”, dammit!

  6. @ChrisO

    Yep yeah, CT is required reading for me, being from Melb and all. In fact, going to be in town this ‘summer’ (work in northern hemisphere) for this, which looks awesome.
    Pretty pumped. Two weeks ’til I’m home. New bike and gear is a-waiting.

  7. Oh yeh, any ideas why I’m back to level 4?
    New badge system penalises inane, crappy posts?

  8. Blah:
    Oh yeh, any ideas why I’m back to level 4?
    New badge system penalises inane, crappy posts?

    ‘cos if so, I can get to level 8, I think.

  9. Cyclops – woah, a 566, eh? I didn’t realize you had just picked one up. I took have a 566 and like it a lot. Cool color scheme there. I have the white/black from 2009, but am digging the mostly black on yours.

    Is anyone following the Ricco news the past few days? Photo op in the new kit yesterday, today he is suspended?

    Oh…and did my first proper CX ride on my new cross whip. WOW! That was pure awesomeness. A whole new world of cycling has been opened to me. And, I went with a friend who is a skilled cross rider so did the “thrown into the deep end” type of ride the first time out. Went much harder & faster than I would have gone solo. I have a set of trails only ten minutes from my door. Going to be great on days when I don’t feel like road riding, or dealing with cars, to jump on the cx bike.

    Anyone watching the Daupine via steephill? I watched the entire Giro through them but haven’t been able to find an streaming video of the racing this week.

  10. Blah :
    Oh yeh, any ideas why I’m back to level 4?New badge system penalises inane, crappy posts?

    Did you change your email address for the site? I have heard that will reset your post count.

  11. Oh, PS folks – Frank switched the scoring around for this edition of the VPS. The lower your score, the better you’re doing. Ha.

  12. I just got home with 336 new photos..

    i ‘ll try to select 100 and post them i the evening ( 1-3 hours from now on..) … shots are less “pr0n esthetics“, i choose cheap wide angle optics to give you more insight of the place : more humans and vibes, less machines…

    well, with all this Sci-Fi TT gear, it’s not really the case but at last there are much more humans than yesterday!! racers were verywhere.. in fact, it was really hard to do some shots and not to bump with one ! these crazy mofos!

    Dauphin̩ / Stage 3 / Grenoble РGrenoble / pictures coming soon!

  13. For the addicts…

    The photo stock of the 336 pictures
    ( unedited / uncropped /no selection)
    is avalaible at this adress :

    ( files are still transferring)
    but the website should wiork :


  14. What the hell is wrong with Basso losing 6+ minutes in a TT!? He should have gone to the Giro.

  15. @Buck Rogers
    Yup, sure did.
    Finish my job here tomorrow so switched to one of my new work emails before my current one gets cut off.
    Well that sucks. Oh well.

  16. @Ron

    Actually it’s a 586. Or to be more specific a 586 R-Light Limited Edition. Maybe Frank will but my article on it up today. Hint, hint, wink, wink.

  17. @Ron
    Try this link in the am. Sometimes you have to try more than one of them but I have been getting the Eurosport fed just fine. Hope it helps.

  18. All these photos are incredible! Thanks Alpin.

    Cyclops – sorry ’bout that. Looking forward to the article.

    Some of those racers are funny lookin’ dudes, and some look more like ladies than dudes. Maybe all that riding is upping their estrogen levels.

  19. Hey delphinati!

    here are the first set of pictures .

    Criterium du Dauphiné
    Etap̩ 3 : Grenoble РGrenoble.

    All pictures are unframed and unedited et that can surely be seen…
    I battled with my my gear and the light all day…

    For a start, random choices of mine.

    very very very discrete Wiggins.

    Tyler’s Legz

    White power

    Black power

    Under the Police eye



    Basso looking tired at the start

    Rolling the wheel

    Liquigas as$

    Mangez des Oranges!

    Doctor‘s Suitcase

    Imported from Belgium

    Gold Necklace

    sign “O” the times

    lots of it in the bank

    I see dimples everywhere

    slice cut ?

    Shiv out ?




    best photo of mine


    …and he pulled a Dogma from the Sky…

    LOUD pink

    his name evocates macadamia nuts

    The Big Blue


    Lots of stress in this stage…

    various trainers

    Vanity plates…of course.


  20. Thanks, pakrat! I’ll give it a shot.

    And between Pedale & Alpin I don’t even need to go to cyclingnews or velonews to see race photos; Velominati is quickly becoming the only cycling site I need to check out. That’s awesomeness!

  21. As you can clearly see pictures sharpness is not as crisp as yesterday, i choose a bad apple and didn’t verify…grrrrr

    Nevermind ! It lets some place for imagination!
    here are some other more or less blurry shots.

    Jens is in Switzerland, no ?

    Choose your vehicle

    choice done.

    French Look

    Pump it up

    What do you need ?

    do not want to stain my tires

    Lower class model

    contrasting tints

  22. F&ckin” H”ll !

    Frank ?



    At home, these pics aren’ THAT lefty…

  23. @Alpin
    Wow, you’ve outdone yourself. Of your many fantastic photos, I think either this


    is my favorite.

    Incredibly well done.

  24. one last set and i’m gone for the day.

    Swiss design is great

    waiting in the dark

    less is more

    the sound of these things…


    Discs, Five spokes, traditionnal ones ?

    music before the race

    Pinarello Pina’s

    Aerospace carbon”

    Campa rear disc wheel

    non-Campa front wheel

    dimples from Zipp, no?

    Good looking Corima MCC

    Hub in close-up

    Special Rotor TT Ring

    Corima disc with red Der’

    Time TT equipped in front with 3 spokes from Corima

    little color in a B&W world

    his upsidedown partner

    42.5km= little thirst

    Swoosh! as they say at Nike HQ

    integrated design

    aero pedals

    Ciao a te Ragazzi!

    Mechs have always one or more screwdriver in hand

    Pizza time at Garmin-Cervelo

    Cometes and Cosmic

    How many bikes can you see in this photo ?

    Tyler’s one

    Sport Utility Vehicle

    Trek’s TTs with a low front rim

    that’s the very first time i Think a Lapierre bike can be quite easy on the eye

    his one for example is perfectly bland and vulgar

    a warrior in his shiny armor

    seen at S-Works Bus

    one bike , twelve wheels

    Shiv from Gustov

    another curious stem from Look

    Katusha’s rides

    W h e e l s

    finding the v-locus

    searching his rythm

    setting the pace

    rear view

    where do i put the cartridges ?

    one turn and it’s ok

    Lapierre’s FDJ bikes

    angular shapes

    training camp

    Shiv in white

    the last trend in TT

    red honey

    think blue

    Curious mix between SIDIs, Canyon & Mavic …

    italian Lampre design

    all prepared in his skinsuit

    Dimpled helmet

    It screams : Go !

    Cofidis riders checking their glasses before race

    Cervelo P4 with his integrated Camelbak

    Tyler Farrar at the start of the TT

    reeeeally decontracted at the start …

    Ag2r Kuota…

    some yoga while the TT conformity Check

    PRO wheel for Orbea

    hop hop hop

    replacement rides ?


    nice color scheme

    nice bike / nice kit

    that’s all, folks !

  25. @frank


    these two they’re in my top 5 two …)..the next time for the TDF i’ll inleash my abstract views on photography ! it’s also much more my thing !

  26. @Alpin
    Holy Mother of Merckx I have been way to busy with work and travel and trying to get in shape to peak before the worlds and now I come back to this!!

    Massive bike porn – stunning images – I have gone to heaven, thank you Alpin!

  27. @Alpin

    I’m surprised to see the ergostem is still in use – albiet in a new incarnation. Amazing!

    Phenomenal bike porn!!

    Welcome back mate!!

  28. The latest set of pictures don’t seem to be loading for me. Too much bike sexiness for the server to handle?

  29. @Alpin
    This must take you a while to do. Take, sort, edit, upload.
    You may be wondering if the time invested is worth it.
    Let me answer.
    Thankyou so, so much for this. Just love it.

  30. @Alpin
    Absolute class that’s on a different level. I guess were used to seeing photos of the racing but it’s rare to be immersed in an event in the way that you’ve achieved! A great balance between the “tech” and the people. Thanks.

  31. @Frank

    Thanks a lot fellows velo’mates !!!

    Thats was a real pleasure to do these shots and gallery !

    Next time i’ll take a more personal approach first…

    And then bring on the Bike pr0n !!!


    In the next days, if the meteorology isn’t so bad perhaps i’ll take the chances to do some live race shots in the two last mounatinous stages with these two infamous climbs the very well known Col de la Croix de Fer and the understated Collet d’Allevard…but that means i would have to climb these with all my gear and stuff ( no car ! ) …will see ! If not, the next Bg Thing will be the Tour in July… see you there !!

  32. Carbone +

    The feeling you get when you see so many carbon components that you take viagra for relief…

  33. What a finish today! Jeez, looks as if HTC has two legitimate sprinters in the mix.

    Nice, nice win by JdK. With how wide he had to go, traveled a lot further than Boasson Hagen did. Awesome win.

  34. No change in the overall today. Marcus keeps his lead until Wiggo inevitably has to roll uphill as well. Actually, one of his better quotes is, “All you have to do is keep from cracking for one more minute” or something along those lines. Class.

    [vsp_results id=”8490″]

  35. @frank
    As much as I have tried to hate Wiggins since 2004 when he beat McGee in the pursuit I still kinda like him (hell he is almost Australian given the provenance of his cycling genes) – however he is not part of my picks. But he is holding my scorecard together for now so I say rule brittania!

  36. A lot of the racers are wearing a reddish tint Oakley lens. Anyone know what lens that is? Look to be the Radar Path lens in…red iridium polarized? Looked at the Oakley site and that looks to be the closest match, but maybe the pros get special lens options.

    I’m in the market for a new all around lens for my Radars. I have the persimmon in another pair and they are pretty great in everything except very bright sun.

  37. Curses. Have been off line and out of the loop for a couple of weeks and the season of VSP appears to have passed me by. Will have to be flawless henceforth. Hahahaha. No chance!

  38. @frank
    I thought Degenkolb’s head might fly off in that sprint – it was bobbing up and down like a (very aggressive) woodpecker trying to batter the V-locus into submission. But a great display of raw power and perfect timing nonetheless. (Isn’t it about time EBH won something, though?)

  39. @Ron
    I have persimmon and grey… I like them both, but the grey is definitely better in full sun (persimmon is better in low / flat / low angle light conditions) Both good tho.

  40. G’phant:
    I thought Degenkolb’s head might fly off in that sprint – it was bobbing up and down like a (very aggressive) woodpecker trying to batter the V-Locus into submission.

    Ha! My favorite sprinting style, to be sure. I’m ready to head back uphill tomorrow, and watch Wiggo execute the dreaded Lemon Turd (when the maillot jaune goes out the back, see Rainbow Turd for clarification)

  41. @sgt
    Yellow Turd. Love it.

    No changes today in the VSP. Stand by for Sunday’s climb – Alpin has another little trick up his sleeve.

    [vsp_results id=”8490″]

  42. @Alpin
    Great shots. I didn’t know the EuropeCar Colnagos were green with metallic flake. Makes me want one even more now, thanks.

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