The peloton in action during Stage 6 of the 2016 Dauphine Libere

Where: France
When: June 3-10 2018
Rank: UCI WorldTour

The Critérium du Dauphiné marks the traditional run-in to the Tour de France, and so all eyes are on how the top contenders ride. In 2018, the race takes place between June 3-10.

Lasting for eight days, the Critérium du Dauphiné is a sort of compressed version of the Tour, with a variation of Alpine mountains, time-trials, flat and hilly stages held across France’s terrain that resembles what awaits the riders come July.

This race is often a key focus for Chris Froome and Team Sky: not only have the team won five of the past seven editions (twice through Bradley Wiggins in 2011 and 2012 and three times through Froome in 2013, 2015 and 2016), they also tend to dominate the race with imposing performances across the whole team, with their supporting riders often outperforming other teams’ leaders.

In 2017, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) broke Chris Froome’s (Team Sky) dominance over the Critérium du Dauphiné taking the win on the final stage.

After an early lead was taken by Thomas De Gendet (Lotto-Soudal) in stage one, it wasn’t until a decisive victory by Richie Porte (BMC) in stage four’s individual time trial turned the tables. Porte went on to secure the leader’s jersey in stage six despite losing out on the stage win in a sprint-out against eventual winner Jakob Fuglsang.

Porte went into the final day with a one minute lead over his rivals but on the short 115km stage long range attacks were the order of the day. Fuglsang broke from the main group leaving Porte isolated behind him. Despite working hard to bring himself within a minute behind Fuglsang, the Dane took the stage win and with it 10 bonus seconds, enough to take the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné title.

Froome, who had started the race as the favourite, missed out on a podium place by one second losing out to Dan Martin (Quick Step Floors) after the Irish rider came second on the day giving him enough bonus seconds to leap frog the Brit.

Chris Froome finishes Stage 7 and wins the 2016 Dauphine Libere

Chris Froome finishes Stage 7 and wins the 2016 Critérium du Dauphiné (Watson)

Critérium du Dauphiné 2017: Stages

Stage 1: Sun June 4, Saint Étienne to Saint Étienne, 170.5km
Stage 2: Mon June 5, Saint-Chamond to Arlanc, 171km
Stage 3: Tues June 6, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon to Tullins, 184km
Stage 4: Weds June 7, La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu, 23.5km (ITT)
Stage 5: Thur June 8, La Tour-da-Salvagny to Mâcon, 175.5km
Stage 6: Fri June 9, Parc des Oiseaux – Villars-les-Domes to La Motte-Servolex, 147.5km
Stage 7: Sat June 10, Aoste to Alpe d’Huez, 168km
Stage 8: Sun June 11, Albertville to Plateau de Solaison, 115km

Critérium du Dauphiné: Recent winners

2017 Jakob Fuglsang (Dnk) Astana
2016 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
2015 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
2014 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp
2013 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
2012 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
2011 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
2010 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) RadioShack
2009 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
2008 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
2007 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Ag2r Prevoyance

Critérium du Dauphiné 2017 final general classification

1 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team, in 29-05-54
2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team, at 10s
3 Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-32
4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky, at 1-33
5 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team, at 1-37
6 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 2-04
7 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 2-32
8 Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE-Emirates, at 3-12
9 Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team, at 4-08
10 Rafael Valls Ferri (Esp) Lotto Soudal, at 4-40