CYCLING Preview: Tour de France in sight as top riders compete in the Criterium du Dauphine

One of the final prep races for July’s Tour de France is the annual Criterium du Dauphine, an eight-stage program in the French Alps. The 71st edition started on Sunday and includes many of the world’s finest riders, including seven former medal winners:

● Chris Froome (GBR) ~ Winner in 2013-15-16
● Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) ~ Winner in 2017
● Romain Bardet (FRA) ~ Second in 2016
● Riche Porte (AUS) ~ Second in 2013-17
● Dan Martin (IRL) ~ Third in 2016-17
● Adam Yates (GBR) ~ Second in 2018
Tejay van Garderen (USA) ~ Second in 2010

There are plenty of other stars in the field, including 2017 Giro d’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin (NED), French stars Warren Barguil and Julien Alaphilippe, Colombia’s Giro and La Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana and more.

Froome, the four-time Tour de France winner, co-owns the record for wins in this race with three, shared with four others. There is plenty of French talent in the field, but no French rider has won this event since Christophe Moreau in 2007.

Ten men have won this race and the Tour de France in the same year: Louison Bobet (FRA) in 1955; Jacques Anquetil (FRA) in 1963; Eddy Merckx (BEL) in 1971; Luis Ocana (ESP) in 1973; Bernard Thevenet (FRA) in 1975; Bernard Hinault (FRA) in 1979 and 1981; Miguel Indurain (ESP) in 1995; Bradley Wiggins (GBR) in 2012; Froome in 2013-15-16; and Geraint Thomas (GBR) last year.

All of the stages are hilly and the final three stages have significant climbs; the race may be decided in Stage 6, with its late climb up the Col de Beaune before finishing at Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne. Summaries so far:

UCI World Tour Criterium du Dauphine
France ~ 9-16 June 2019
(Full results here)

Stage 1 (142.0 km): 1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR), 3:24:33; 2. Philippe Gilbert (BEL), 3:24:33; 3. Wout van Aert (BEL), 3:24:33; 4. Nils Politt (GER), 3:24:33; 5. Gregor Muhlberger (AUT), 3:24:33. Also in the top 25: 25. Tejay van Garderen (USA), 3:24:33.

Stage 2 (180.0 km): 1. Dylan Teuns (BEL), 4:12:41; 2. Guillaume Martin (FRA), 4:12:41; 3. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), 4:12:54; 4. Thibaut Pinot (FRA), 4:12:54; 5. Michael Woods (CAN), 4:12:54. Also in the top 25: 17. Van Garderen (USA), 4:13:25.

11 June: Stage 3 (177.0 km): Le Puy-en-Velay to Riom (hills)
12 June: Stage 4 (26.1 km Time Trial): Roanne to Roanne (flat)
13 June: Stage 5 (201.0 km): Boen-sur-Lignon to Voiron (hilly)
14 June: Stage 6 (229.0 km): Saint-Vulbas to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne (mountains)
15 June: Stage 7 (133.5 km): Saint-Genix-les-Villages to Pipay (mountains)
16 June: Stage 8 (113.5 km): Cluses to Champery (mountains)

After being off for three weeks, the women’s World Tour picks up in England for the sixth OVO Energy Women’s Tour, a six-stage tour across England and Wales, finishing in Pembrey Country Park in Wales, on Sunday.

All five of the prior winners are in the race, with a total of 10 prior medal winners:

● Marianne Vos (NED) ~ Winner in 2014; runner-up in 2018
● Lizzie Deignan (GBR) ~ Winner in 2016
Coryn Rivera (USA) ~ Winner in 2018
● Christine Majerus (LUX) ~ Second in 2017
● Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) ~ Third in 2016
● Hannah Barnes (GBR) ~ Third in 2-17
● Kasia Niewiadoma (POL) ~ Winner in 2017
● Lisa Brennauer (GER) ~ Winner in 2015
● Jolien D’Hoore (BEL) ~ Second in 2015
● Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) ~ Second in 2016

Three of the prior medalists – Vos, Niewiadoma and Longo Borghini – have also been winners on the World Tour this season and Longo Borghini won the last event, the Emakumeen Euskal Bira in Spain.

Belgium’s D’Hoore won the first stage, winning the final sprint over Amy Pieters (NED) and Brennauer (GER). Summaries and stages:

UCI Women’s World Tour/OVO Energy Women’s Tour
Britain ~ 10-15 June 2019
(Full results here)

Stage 1 (157.6 km): 1. Jolien D’Hoore (BEL), 4:09:12; 2. Amy Pieters (NED), 4:09:12; 3. Lisa Brennauer (GER), 4:09:12; 4. Roxane Founier (FRA), 4:09:12; 5. Marianne Vos (NED), 4:09:12. Also in the top 25: 16. Coryn Rivera (USA), 4:09:12; … 25. Leah Thomas (USA), 4:09:12.

11 June: Stage 2 (62.5 km): Cyclopark Gravesend to Cyclopark Gravesend (flat)
12 June: Stage 3 (145.1 km): Henley-on-Thames to Blenheim Palace (hilly)
13 June: Stage 4 (158.9 km): Warwick to Burton Dassett (hilly)
14 June: Stage 5 (140.0 km): Llandrindod Wells to Builth Wells (hilly)
15 June: Stage 6 (125.9 km): Carmarthen to Pembrey Country Park (major climb)

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