Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 route: Five days of summit finishes in pre-Tour de France race

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 (August 12 to 16) features a shortened 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 Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or.

The riders will face an uphill finish on every single stage, so the likelihood of any sprinters on the start line is very low. Potentially sprinters who can take an incline may start the race as Tour de France preparation.

Stage one is a very tough stage, but will be seen as a pre-cursor for the bigger mountains that come later in the race. With seven categorised climbs and a summit finish, this will immediately shake the general classification up.

On stage two 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 recce part of stage 17 of this year’s French Grand Tour presents itself the next day, as riders tackle the Col de la Madeleine, before heading up to Saint-Martin-de-Belleville.

Stage four 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, finishing on Megève.

Then, the final stage five has eight categorised climbs, with only not being second category or above, once again culminating on Megève, in what race 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, Wed August 12 Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez 181km
Stage two, Thurs August 13 Vienne to Col de Porte 132.5km
Stage three, Fri August 14 Corenc to Saint-Martin-de-Belleville 156.5km
Stage four, Sat August 15 Ugine to Megève 156.5km
Stage five, Sun August 16 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, Wednesday August 12, Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez (181km)

The first stage will immediately show who has come to the race with the best form. Taking on seven categorised climbs, it will be a real battle of the titans to Saint-Christo-en-Jarez.

The final climb, the Col de la Gachet, is 3.3km long at an average of 4.6 per cent but the race will most likely have been broken down on the first passage of the climb with 145km to go.

Stage two, Thursday August 13, Vienne to Col de Porte (132.5km)

Stage two sees a bigger summit finish with riders climbing the high category ascent of the Col de Porte, 17.5km at an average of 6.2 per cent.

Stage three, Friday August 14, Corenc to Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (156.5km)

The third stage takes on part of stage 17 of this year’s Tour de France, only missing the neutralised ride out of Grenoble and finishing on a different climb.

Aside from that, it is an important dress rehearsal for all of the big names targeting yellow later in the month with the challenging Col de la Madeleine, 17.3km at an average of 8.3 per cent, in the stage profile.

Stage four, Saturday August 15, Ugine to Megève (156.5km)

The race now stays around the same area with the penultimate and final stages both finishing in the same place but from different angles.

The climb up to Megève isn’t the hardest of the race’s ascents, but stage four isn’t to be taken lightly, with seven categorised climbs, including three category ones and one high category.

Stage five, Sunday August 16, Megève to Megève (153km)

The final stage has the start and finish both in the tow of Megève but there is a very challenging 153km to do before they arrive back where they started.

Going between the départments of Haute-Savoie and Savoie, the route takes in eight categorised climbs where the king of the mountains jersey will be confirmed, finishig atop of Montée de l’Altiport, 9km at 4.6 per cent average gradient.