2022 Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 8 Preview

Saint-Alban-Leysse > Plateau de Salaison 137.3km

Another huge day in the mountains awaits the peloton. After today’s dominant performance by Roglič, I don’t think they’ll be anyone thinking he can be beaten, which changes the type of stage we get. All eyes will be on the morning break, yet again, it has a good chance of going all the way. In the GC fight, 3rd place on the podium is still up in the air, it should go all the way to the line.

Weather

Another sunny day.

The Climbs

From the gun we have Col de Plainpalais, 9.5km at 6.1%, that’s going to waken the legs up.

The next serious climb is the Col de la Colombière, which is 11.6km at 5.7%. 

The final climb of the day is Plateau de Solaison, which was used back in 2017 when Jacob Fuglsang took the win. The climb is a relentless 11.4km at 9.2%, it really is horribly steep. To win here you need to be a great climber.

Tactics

The type of stage we get all depends on what the break looks like. Roglič will want a stage win, but if the break is too big, his teammates won’t be able to chase it down. With only 14 riders within 3 minutes of yellow, everyone will want to be in the break, I doubt it will go on the first climb.

We’ll see plenty of attacks on the first climb, but I don’t think the break will go until after. When it does form, it could be very large, and feature lots of talented climbers. Jumbo-Visma will then use the next phase of the stage to determine if they can catch it, after today, no one will want to help them. I would say the break has a good chance of taking another stage win.

In the GC group, some will hope that Roglič has a bad day. This is unlikely considering how strong he was today, but he can suffer in the final day of a stage race. The problem for everyone else is the strength of Jonas Vingegaard, there’s no way Jumbo-Visma don’t win this race. Ben O’Connor is currently sitting in 3rd place; the podium was his goal before the race, and he has a great chance of achieving this. There is no place to hide on Plateau de Solaison, we’ll be left with a very small group come the last kilometre.

Contenders

Primoz Roglič – so strong today, but he’ll want a stage win. If it does come back together, I don’t think we’ll see the same scenario as today. Instead, they can wait and see what other teams want to do. If nobody takes up the challenge, Vingegaard can be used to set a steady tempo, and Roglič will attack near the end.

Brandon McNulty – had a mechanical today, then used up energy chasing back on, so it was no surprise to see him getting dropped. He sits 3:06 behind Roglič, Jumbo-Visma won’t be overly happy if he gets in the morning break, but it’ll be hard to stop him. 

Jan Hirt – has he got anything left in the tank? Brilliant at the Giro, and he’s been okay here. Fatigue will be kicking in, but if he manages to get in the break, he’ll forget about being tired for a couple of hours. The final climb suits him very well.

Michael Storer – I picked him for today, but he stayed with Gaudu instead. He’ll have freedom in this stage, but does he have the legs?

Mark Padun – has he been bluffing? Out the back door as soon as the road goes up, I doubt he’s been trying to fool the peloton. This time last year he produced two exceptional performances, but very little since. Can he remind everyone just how good he is?

Geoffrey Bouchard – with O’Connor chasing the podium, I’m not sure if he’ll be allowed to go for the breakaway. If he gets the green light, he’ll be one of the best in the break.

Prediction Time

I’ll take a breakaway win for Jan Hirt, with the top 3 on GC remaining the same.

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