Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) and the Team Sky duo of Nicolas Roche and Philip Deignan have been named on the provisional list of starters for the 2015 edition of the Criterium du Dauphine (June 7-14) which has been released by race organiser ASO.
The race will kick off with an undulating stage from Ugine to Albertville, and the riders will face their first big climb the following day on their way to Parc des Oiseaux. However, the Cat. 1 climb of the Col de Cuvéry is too far from the finish to cause much damage.
The third stage 24.5km team time-trial will offer the first chance for a big shake-up in GC. The next decisive stage will be the fifth stage from Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup, where the riders will have to take on five categorised climbs including the Col d’Allos and the final 6.2 km climb to Pra Loup.
However, it’s the final two stages that should prove most decisive. The penultimate stage from Montmelian to Saint Gervais includes five Cat. 1 climbs, including the Col de la Croix Fry, Col des Aravis and the summit finish on the climb of Le Bettex which is 7kms long at 7.7%. The following day, the riders will face 157 kilometres from Saint Gervais to Modane and once again will tackle six categorised climbs along the way including the spectacular Lacets de Montvernier and the summit finish to Modane-Valfréjus.
Last year’s winner Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cannondale) returns to defend his title, but will face stiff competition from a number of big names. Amongst those set to start include Chris Froome (Team Sky), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Others who could expect a high finish on GC include the Ag2r La Mondiale duo of Romain Bardet and Jean-Christophe Péraud, Tejay van Garderen of BMC and Julian Alaphilippe of Etixx-Quick Step.
Roche and Deignan can be expected to ride in the service of Froome for the race, and it’s a good opportunity for Deignan in particular to impress and try and nail down a place on Team Sky’s Tour de France line-up. Dan Martin will be hopeful of starting to make up for a difficult spring, and the race will offer a good opportunity to start to ride into form for the Tour, where he will be aiming for stage wins.
Criterium du Dauphine 2015: Stages
Stage one, Sunday June 7, Ugine to Albertville, 132km
Stage two, Monday June 8, Le Bourget to Parc des Oiseaux, 173km
Stage three, Tuesday June 9, Roanne to Montagny 24.5km TTT
Stage four, Wednesday June 10, Anneyron to Sisteron, 228km
Stage five, Thursday June 11, Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup, 161km
Stage six, Friday June 12, Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur to Villard-de-Lans, 183km
Stage seven, Saturday June 13, Montmelian to Saint Gervais, 155km
Stage eight, Sunday June 14, Saint Gervais to Modane, 157km