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A miniature Tour de France: the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré 2008

Added: friday 09 May 2008 at 16:14:35
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    A miniature Tour de France: the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré 2008On this blog I regularly talk about the Tour de France (with for example the full Tour de France 2008 track in Google Earth or the changes in official partners/sponsors of the Tour de France), but did you know that a little bit less than a month before the Grand Départ of the Tour from Brest a sort of miniature Tour de France will take place from 8 till 15 June 2008?

    The experts will have understood by now that this article is about that miniature Tour which is called the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré

    Miniature Tour de France you might think? Yes indeed, because with its almost 1093 kilometres the riders will do about one third of the distance of the Tour de France during this stage race and the number of stages has also been divided by three to come to 7 stages in addition to the prologue. However, in terms of difficulties this stage race is not among the easiest with the different climbs which are part of it in the Alps between Le Pontet (Avignon) and Grenoble.

    The stages and the full track

    The full track and stages of the Criterium are as follows:
    The stages of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré 2008

    - Sunday 8 June 2008 - prologue - Le Pontet > Avignon - 5,7 km
    It will all start with the prologue from Le Pontet, a small town north-east of Avignon and former district of this big city, and Avignon itself in the Vaucluse. After this relatively short time trial (5,7 km) one of the time trial experts will probably receive the first leader's jersey of this Dauphiné (yellow with a blue line).

    - Monday 9 June 2008 - 1st stage - Avignon > Privas - 194 km
    The first stage will also start from the city which is known for its halve bridge to finish 194 kilometres further in the city Privas in the Ardèche, the chestnut ice capital.

    - Tuesday 10 June 2008 - 2nd stage - Bourg-Saint-Andéol > Vienne - 184 km
    The riders will than start from the city Bourg-Saint-Andéol a little bit further south and will have to ride 184 kilometres to the finish in Vienne in the Isère, which is especially known for its yearly jazz festival: Jazz à Vienne.

    - Wednesday 11 June 2008 - 3rd stage, time trial - Saint-Paul-en-Jarez - 31 km
    The third stage is another individual time trial, this time a bit longer than the prologue: 31 kilometres around the city Saint-Paul-en-Jarez in the Pilat mountains area around Saint-Etienne. This stage's track contains one third and one fourth category mountain. The Dindes (surname for the people living in that city) will thus be able to see the riders come by one by one ...

    - Thursday 12 June 2008 - 4th stage - Vienne > Annemasse - 193 km
    Profile of the 4th stage of the Dauphiné Libéré
    Profile of the 4th stage of the Dauphiné Libéré

    The next day the 4th stage will start from the city where the 2nd stage finished: Vienne. 193 kilometres further the riders will finish in Annemasse in the Haute-Savoie, close to the Swiss border.
    This first mountain stage contains three mountains, one of them being in the first category: Le Salève at 17,5 kilometres from the finish. The two other climbs are the Côte du Mont des Princes (3rd category) and the Côte de Saint-Jean (4th category).

    - Friday 13 June 2008 - 5th stage - Ville-la-Grand > Morzine - 125 km
    Profile of the 5th stage of the Dauphiné Libéré
    Profile of the 5th stage of the Dauphiné Libéré

    In the northern suburbs of Annemasse the 5th stage will start in Ville-la-Grand and after a short stage the riders will arrive in the ski station Morzine, which is well known as a stage city of the Tour de France.
    Even though the stage is quite short it will have no less than 4 mountains of which one is out of category: first the Col de Saxel (3rd category) followed by the Col du Perret (4th category), the Côte de Châtillon-sur-Cluze (4th category) and finally the famous Col de Joux-Plane (out of category) before the long, steep and difficult descent to Morzine.

    - Saturday 14 June 2008 - 6th stage - Morzine > La Toussuire - 233 km
    Profile of the 6th stage of the Dauphiné Libéré
    Profile of the 6th stage of the Dauphiné Libéré

    On Saturday another high mountains stage will be waiting the riders, this time it'll be a longer stage but still with four mountains of which one is out of category and one of the first category. The riders will start in Morzine and after 54 kilometres the first mountain will be the climb to Megève (3rd category), soon followed by the Côte d'Hery sur Hugin. After the descent a long road, slightly going up, will lead to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne at the foot of the 25 long kilometres of the Col de la Croix de Fer (out of category). This climb will be followed by a long descent of the Croix de Fer again towards Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne for the final climb to La Toussuire (1st category) via le Corbier (14 km).

    This stage around Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, la Toussuire and with a start from Morzine reminds me of the stage which finished in La Toussuire and the stage from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Morzine in the Tour de France 2006 where Floyd Landis first had a lot of difficulties going up to La Toussuire while the other day he almost caught up the advertising caravan! Everyone probably knows how this story continued ...

    - Sunday 15 June 2008 - 7th stage - Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Grenoble - 127 km
    Profile of the 7th stage of the Dauphiné Libéré
    Profile of the 7th stage of the Dauphiné Libéré

    One week after the start somewhere close to Avignon the last stage will start in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, the city known for the Opinel knife, towards the city which is a candidate for the Olympic Winter games in 2018, Grenoble.

    While this stage has a relatively flat start it will end with the Col du Granier (1st category), the Col du Cucheron (1st category) and the Col de Porte (2nd category) before the final descent towards Grenoble. These final mountains of the Criterium might well give some last minute changes to the general ranking!

    > This stage's track in Google Maps

    The teams and the most important participating riders

    The 18 ProTour teams will participate in the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. Below you'll find the list of teams and the most important riders who most probably have planned this race (most often as a preparation for the Tour de France) in their programme:
    • AG2R La MondialeAG2R La Mondiale

      - Vladimir EFIMKIN
      - John GADRET
      - Cyril DESSEL
      - Stéphane GOUBERT
      - Ludovic TURPIN
      - José Luis ARRIETA
    • AstanaAstana

      - Alberto CONTADOR
      - Levi LEIPHEIMER
      - Maxim IGLINSKY
    • Bouygues TelecomBouygues Telecom

      - Pierrick FEDRIGO
      - Laurent LEFEVRE
    • Caisse d'EpargneCaisse d'Epargne

      A nice selection for the Spanish team with a French sponsor:
      - Alejandro VALVERDE
      - Oscar PEREIRO
      - Luis Léon SANCHEZ
      - Nicolas PORTAL
    • CofidisCofidis

      - David MONCOUTIE
      - Sylvain CHAVANEL
      - Samuel DUMOULIN
      - Florent BRARD
      - Nick NUYENS
    • Crédit AgricoleCrédit Agricole

      - Thor HUSHOVD
      - Patrice HALGAND
      - Simon GERRANS
      - William BONNET
      - Christophe LE MEVEL
    • Euskaltel - EuskadiEuskaltel - Euskadi

      - Samuel SANCHEZ
      - Mikel ASTARLOZA
      - Haimar ZUBELDIA
    • Française des JeuxFrançaise des Jeux

      - Philippe GILBERT
      - Sandy CASAR
      - Rémy DI GREGORIO
      - Jérôme COPPEL

      The last rider will be on his training roads during the 4th stage because he'll be close to where he lives.
    • GerolsteinerGerolsteiner

      - Heinrich HAUSSLER
      - Sebastian LANG
      - Fabian WEGMANN
    • High RoadHigh Road

      - Bradley WIGGINS
      - Michael ROGERS
      - André GREIPEL
    • LampreLampre

      - Mattéo BONO
      - Paolo BOSSONI
      - Marzio BRUSEGHIN
      - Sylwester SZMYD
    • LiquigasLiquigas

      - Manuel BELTRAN
      - Léonardo BERTAGNOLLI
      - Enrico FRANZOI
      - Frederik WILLEMS
    • Quick.StepQuick.Step

      - Tom BOONEN
      - Gert STEEGMANS
      - Carlos BARREDO
    • RabobankRabobank

      - Robert GESINK
      - Juan Antonio FLECHA
    • Saunier Duval - ScottSaunier Duval - Scott

      - Juan COBO
      - David DE LA FUENTE
      - Denis FLAHAUT
    • Silence LottoSilence Lotto

      - Cadel EVANS
      - Yaroslav POPOVYCH
      - Volodymyr BILEKA
    • Team CSCTeam CSC

      - Alexander KOLOBNEV
      - Chris Anker SORENSEN
      - Inigo CUESTA
      - Karsten KROON
    • Team MilramTeam Milram

      - Igor ASTARLOA
      - Andriy GRIVKO
      - Niki TERPSTRA

    The sponsors of the race

    Like any other cycling race the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré of course also has some sponsors to pay part of the race. In addition to the newspaper which organises the race the sponsors for the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré are:
    > The most important sponsors
    - Crédit Agricole - Crédit Agricole - sponsor of the yellow/blue leader's jersey
    - Région Rhône-Alpes - Région Rhône-Alpes - sponsor of the green jersey for the ranking by points
    > Other sponsors
    - Mavic - Mavic - technical assistance
    - Véolia Proprété - Véolia Proprété - quality of the environment
    - Ricoh - Ricoh - official copiers
    - Skoda - Skoda - official cars
    - Casino Cafétéria - Casino Cafétéria - official caterer
    - Interflora - Interflora - the winners' flowers
    - Sotradel - Sotradel - official transporter
    > The media-sponsors
    France Télévisions  France 2  France 3  France 3 Rhône Alpes Auvergne  Eurosport  France Bleu  France Info

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Cycling general (except Tour de France)| Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré| UCI ProTour | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 4 comments!
  1. This is the first time I have heard of this race. Thanks for the info..With all my favorite riders, I wish i could be there..

    | Tara | sunday 11 May 2008 at 9:34:51

  2. How can I find out the dates and towns for the Criterium du Dauphine 2009. Trying to book a flight and plan a trip around it. I have searched all over the internet for this information but no luck.

    | Mercedes | sunday 05 October 2008 at 2:57:47

  3. Hi Mercedes,

    I've never really seen any rumours on the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, so I think you won't be able to find much information anywhere else than on their official website once they publish it (April / May) ...

    | Thomas Vergouwen | tuesday 07 October 2008 at 10:21:30

  4. try the uci pro tour site - they dont have details of stages yet, but they usuallu publish before the actual dauphine site is updated, and its been right the last 2 years when I have been going.

    | colin flockton | sunday 01 February 2009 at 16:39:51

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