Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 route shakes up convention with zero time trialling before mountainous finish

The last time the precursor to the Tour de France didn't include a time trial was 1947

The route for the 2020 edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné (May 31 to June 7) has been announced, with a 1300-kilometre parcours doing away with time trialling this year for the first time since the 1947 race.

The 72nd edition of the race, commonly used as a warm up for the Tour de France, will begin in the capital of the Massif Central, Clermont-Ferrand, for the first time.

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The major climbing is backloaded towards the end of the week, with a number of lumpy days of racing over the opening few stages.

Stage one is an almost identical route to that of the 14th stage of the 2020 Tour de France, starting in Clermont-Ferrand and finishing in Lyon.

The next day, the 181km stage two from Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez, features hilly terrain that will see sprinters trying to survive in order to contest the rush for the line. Then on stage three a kilometre-long section with an average gradient of 12 per cent will likely see most of them dropped before the finish.

Stage four is the final chance for the fast men, honouring the established tradition of a bunch sprint in the Rhône Valley. However, tradition is eschewed the following day as the normal Wednesday time trial makes way for the first mountain stage.

On this stage five the peloton will first have to tackle the category one Côte de Maillet before a summit finish at the HC Col de Porte. This climb has featured more than a dozen times in the Tour de France during stages where the likes of Gino Bartali, Charly Gaul, Raymond Poulidor and Eddy Merckx have all gone on to win.

A chance to reccy part of stage 17 of this year’s French Grand Tour presents itself the next day, as riders tackle the Col de la Madeleine.

Stage seven is when the real showdown between the climbers will occur, with over 4,700 metres of elevation over seven categorised climbs, including the Montée de Bisanne.

Then, the final stage eight has eight categorised climbs, with only not being second category or above, in what racae organisers are calling “a true festival of altitude”. You could say that again.

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Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 route: stages

Stage one, Sun May 31 Clermont-Ferrand to Lyon 197km
Stage two, Mon June 1 Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez 181km
Stage three, Tue June 2 Saint-Chamond to Saint-Vallier 175.5km
Stage four, Wed June 3 Loriol-sur-Drôme to Bourg-de-Péage 173km
Stage five, Thu June 4 Vienne to Col de Porte 132.5km
Stage six, Fri June 5 Corenc to Saint-Martin-de-Belleville 156.5km
Stage seven, Sat June 6 Ugine to Megève 156.5km
Stage eight, Sun June 7 Megève to Megève 153km

Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 route stage by stage

Here’s a look at the profiles which will shape this year’s race…

Stage one, Sunday May 31, Clermont-Ferrand to Lyon (197km)

Stage two, Monday June 1, Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez (181km)

Stage three, Tuesday June 2, Saint-Chamond to Saint-Vallier (175.5km)

Stage four, Wednesday June 3, Loriol-sur-Drôme to Bourg-de-Péage (173km)

Stage five, Thursday June 4, Vienne to Col de Porte (132.5km)

Stage six, Friday June 5, Corenc to Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (156.5km)

Stage seven, Saturday June 6, Ugine to Megève (156.5km)

Stage 8, Sunday June 7, Megève to Megève (153km)