The Critérium du Dauphiné is eight days long and held in late May into early June, as an important marker in the run-up to the Tour de France, with many of its general classification winners have gone on to wear yellow in Paris.
It’s been won by Ineos Grenadiers six times in the last nine years – via Bradley Wiggins in 2011 and 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013, 2015 and 2016 – though 2017 represented a break from tradition with the win going to Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) – in 2018 with Geraint Thomas.
In 2019 Fuglsang took victory again in a race he has recently favoured, finally, 2020 was being lead by Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) before he left the race after a crash, leaving the peloton to scrap for the overall, with the race going to Daniel Martínez (then EF Pro Cycling).
The 2021 Dauphiné looks to be another hotly contested edition, with a number of big names likely to be on the start line for the stage race that takes on three tough mountain stages with a summit finish on two days.
Another big moment for the overall contenders is the individual time trial on stage four where the first real baring of who’s on form before the Tour de France will be shown.
Defending champion, Martínez, is not yet down to race as it is expected that it will be his new team-mate, Richard Carapaz, who will lead Ineos Grenadiers and potentially the Tour de France.
Other big names that are pencilled in are two-time Vuelta a España winner Roglič as well as Jumbo-Visma team-mate Wout van Aert, Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation).
Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 start list
Ag2r La Mondiale-Citroën
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
VAN AERT Wout
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
Israel Start-Up Nation
DE LA CRUZ David
B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM