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Criterium du Dauphine Libere Discussion
Criterium du Dauphine Libere


2017Thomas DekkerAegon - Lavazza
2016Taylor PhinneyRBC Pro Cycling
2015Rein TaaramäeBouygues Telecom
2014Rein TaaramäeBouygues Telecom
2013Taylor PhinneyWikipedia
2012Simon SpilakWarner Brothers
2011Simon SpilakWarner Brothers - Carrefour
2010John GadretCrédit Lyonnais
2009John GadretCrédit Lyonnais
2008David MoncoutieFrance Televisions
2007Thomas DekkerCredit Agricole

Criterium du Dauphine Libere has always been one of the most important races on the calendar. It serves as preparation race for the Tour de France, together with the simultanious Tour de Suisse. There have only been six winners in eleven editions, with five double winners and Moncoutie as only one-time winner. Thomas Dekker won last year's event and the first in 2007, but won't be participating this year. Neither are back-to-back winners Taaramäe (2014-2015), Spilak (2011-2012) and Gadret (2009-2010). The only former winner to take part is Taylor Phinney, who won the event in 2013 and 2016.



Eight days in and around the Alps. The first stage is one for the sprinters despite some small hills. Then the first and longest of two time trials: 52.7 individual kilometers. Another flat rated stage follows, though with two mountains early on and an uphill finish to provide an unknown outcome. Stage four is the queen stage with 246.5 kilometers and three legendary cols: Madeleine, Croix-de-Fer and finish at the Galibier. Stage five takes us to a hilly route around Sallanches, before heading back into the high mountains with a finish at the Risoul ski resort. Another time trial on stage seven, this time slightly shorter at 33.2 kilometers. The race ends with a final mountain stage with downhill finish in Morzine, after climbing the Col du Joux Plane.



pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_p4e.png Pluchkin857975pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tmo.png Krasnoperov807368
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_gzl.png Madrazo857776pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_aeg.png Olivier806976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tti.png Kritskiy848075pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_prp.png Vinhas806270
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_des.png Tenorio848076pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_pum.png Arndt795676
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ssc.png Denifl847276pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_bnm.png Haig787774
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_rbc.png Phinney838377pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_iso.png Faiers787571
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_afr.png Sicard827678pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_bgc.png Chiarello787375
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_vlv.png Abal817770pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_gzl.png Karnulin787074
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_prp.png Reis817673pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_grg.png Nesset786973
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_akm.png Galta817373pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_rbc.png Giogieri786673
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_pum.png Nerz807372pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_fes.png Chamorro786575
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ubs.png Schelling807275pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ebd.png Aru786474
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tmo.png Marquez807071pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_eav.png Goos777674

As mentioned before, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_rbc.png Phinney is a two-time winner and looks to get himself into the history books by becoming the first three-time winner. He has a time trial advantage over the other contenders, and hopes to gain enough time on both individual efforts while minimising his loss in the mountains.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_p4e.png Pluchkin participates due to a wildcard for his team Popo4Ever, but can't score points towards the rankings. That doesn't mean he won't try to win the race though, as he is arguably the best climber in the race. The other wildcard team, SPAR, fields pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ssc.png Denifl. His time trial ability is worse than his opponents, so he has to go attacking in the mountains.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_gzl.png Madrazo the best climber next to Pluchkin. His fellow countryman pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_des.png Tenorio is one of the very few who might be able to match Phinney in the TT's, as would pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tti.png Kritskiy. These three have very good chances of a podium, maybe even the victory.

A step below we can find riders like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_afr.png Sicard, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_vlv.png Abal, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_prp.png Reis and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_akm.png Galta. All possess good climbing and time trial qualities which make them top ten material at the bare minimum. If everything goes their way they can challenge the top five, and maybe even a surprising victory.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_pum.png Nerz, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ubs.png Schelling, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tmo.png Marquez and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_aeg.png Olivier are all outside bets. When the top favourites fail they will be eager to step into the spotlight.

A clear favourite for the young rider classification is pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_bnm.png Haig. The young Australian's main rivals will be pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_fes.png Vasyliv and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_vlv.png Faglum Karlsson.

SprintersSPACCHLPunchy sprintersSPACCHL
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ssc.png Guerao837665pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_eav.png Van der Lijke817976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_des.png Zabel817969pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_eav.png Reimer778075
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_akm.png Enger817869pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_evo.png Dzamastagic767870
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_p4e.png Ulanowski807758pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_vlv.png Kreder767771
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ubs.png Reinhardt798467pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_bgc.png McEvoy757976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_eav.png Afewerki798063pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_fes.png Ackermann757672
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_mos.png Chen797863pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_des.png Tsatevich757577
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_afr.png Clarke797862pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_evo.png Becis747473
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tmo.png Docker797768pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_mos.png Marycz737775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tti.png Samolenkov787764pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_aeg.png Trillini737573

With one stage likely to go to the pure sprinters, many teams brought an ace to target a stage victory. Both wildcard teams bring a contender in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ssc.png Guerao and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_p4e.png Ulanowski.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_akm.png Enger and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_des.png Zabel emerging as strongest pure sprinters on the startlist. The former comes without a solid train, and might have to make use of the latter's one to get himself into prime position. Other possible contenders are pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tmo.png Docker, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_afr.png Clarke, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_mos.png Chen and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ubs.png Reinhardt.

As for the more punchy sprinters, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_eav.png Van der Lijke is the ultimate favorite for stage three while having a decent chance on the opening stage as well. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_bgc.png McEvoy is one to watch for the uphill sprint as well.

Time trialistsTTMORECPuncheursHLMOACC
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_fes.png Vlatos815267pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ebd.png Boswell807176
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_akm.png Paillot807068pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ubs.png Reichenbach797369
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ssc.png Brändle797672pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ssc.png Bilbao796775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_bnm.png Hepburn796472pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tmo.png Buchmann787471
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_vlv.png Haugard795770pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ssc.png Moazemi787373
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_p4e.png Golovash786066pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_tti.png Chernetskiy787171
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_hug.png Ligthart785468pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_hug.png Landa786969

Phinney might be the best time trialist, but there are other riders specialized in this discipline making the trip to France. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_fes.png Vlatos might only be a threat in the first time trial, given his fear of mountains he'll have a hard time making the time limit on stage four.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_akm.png Paillot will pray for some great legs to beat the American powerhouse, while pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ssc.png Brändle might score a good minor GC classification with his hybrid quality.

eBuddy bring their puncheur pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2018/Micro/mg18_ebd.png Boswell, possibly targeting stage five. A breakaway might succeed on that stage as well, if the GC riders decide to take the day off in this very tough race.
Manager of Minions in MG and Peugeot in ICL
Thanks for the preview!

Haig ain't having a good season and his mountain limitation is obviously more of a concern that it was last year. The profiles here do suit him though and with so many TT kilometers on the menu, he may at least try to hang on in the mountains. Top-15 may be possible, but of course he may also be amongst those, who do not care too much..

If he manages to not win the U25 classification, I will be raging though. That's the main goal here and he simply has to take it. In addition to that, I'm hoping for a notable result from Hepburn in one of the ITTs. No chance for a stage win, but maybe he's in the mix for a Top-5 result, if he's on a good daily form.

Phinney for the GC win, but the competition is fierce. May become a sick race, actually.
When picking the team before the season, I hoped a top 10 would be a safe bet for Galta, considering the clash with Suisse. Seeing the startlist, I'm definitely not as confident anymore. A top 10 seems just about doable for him, but it will take a very good performance, as a couple of those riders rated below him in the mountains could well beat him in that terrain.

It would also be cool to see Paillot fight for a stage win in one of the TTs, and most likely the first one, as I expect the second one to favour the GC riders, but seeing Phinney, Vlatos, Kritskiy and Tenorio here, a stage podium will be very good.

Other than that, I'm excited to see Holst Enger, as stage 1 and stage 3 should suit him very well. He won't have much support though, but he has shown several times he's great at picking the right wheels. If he can do that here as well, a stage win should be within reach, but it will obviously take some luck considering the fight for positions.

For the GC win, Pluchkin, Madrazo and Phinney stand out, but predicting the order feels impossible. Hopefully we'll see a great fight for that prestigous overall win.

And thank you for a very nice preview, Marcovdw!
Go Clarkey!

30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing p/b Octagon
[CX] Listerijns & BoK

Tough field here, I am hoping for a top-10 from Schelling but I'm doubtful that will happen. Maybe Reinhardt can contest the sprints at least, and maybe Reichenbach will try something as a wildcard rider.

Thanks for the preview, I'll guess Pluchkin for the win.
With our A team over in Switzerland supporting Herklotz, the Dauphine serves two purposes for us:
Give some of our young riders valuable experience, and give our aggressive and opportunistic allround threat Arndt a few chances to prove his worth yet again.

On paper, our strongest GC bet should be Nerz, who has somewhat struggled this season and finds himself in a situation here that could well decide his future.
He needs to be consistent and limit the time loss in the tough hilly stage 5, while the amount of TT kilometres and the nature of the mountain stages should at least not be detrimental to his chances.
Keeping the bunch of 78 climbers and Vinhas behind on his way to a safe Top 15 spot should be the goal.

Arndt on the other hand has consistently been an overperformer in the last couple of seasons and faces a unique challenge here:
The TTs leave him out of contention for the GC, so losing as much time as possible in the first would actually help him to ensure he can unleash his powers with smart moves in the mountains, and additionally both flat stages should provide him with opportunities to surprise in the sprint if the bunch of hill-adversed sprinters find them harder than they expected.
Stage 5 would also offer some springboards for attacks if he's not on Nerz duty there.

Behind these two, Mager, Chevrier and Dunne provide sufficient support for the tough stuff, so Declerq and our two new talents Weinstein and Sagiv are free to hopefully join breaks and animate the race.

Phinney must love this route and feel like there's unfinished business after the Vuelta, so it's hard to look past him, especially as he'll likely start stage 4 in yellow.
I have no illusions of Madrazo being able to win, so I'm happy if he gets his podium place in GC.
Not much to say about my team as everyone knows my strategy for these kind of races: some climber/puncheurs for the breaks and KoM and underdog sprinters for the flat stages. No expectations, lets hope for the best,

Thanks for reporting Smile

A Big Thank You To All MG And ICL Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

Nice to see Hamilton active and actually winning a KOM sprint! A pity he got dropped though, just when the reports said, that an interesting KOM battle is unfolding Wink at least he had some moments to show himself, surely enjoying this day in the Top-10 of a ProTour GC.

Kinda expected win by VdL. In case SN will read it, congrats Smile
Mosca show! He's showing himself a lot in Moser colors this season (launching the sprint to Bewley in Sanremo, several breakaway and KoM hunting duties), and i can't wait for him to do this kind of stuff in our colors in 2019 Grin

Really great reports you've been making for been your first ones Marco!
Manager of [MG] Repsol - Netflix

Manager of [ICL] Wilier Triestina

Not much for us to see on the first stage. Hopefully Nesset and Stake Laengen (cool to have the brothers here) can fight good in the mountains.
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Thank you for the report and rolling out the race, Marcovdw Smile Disappointing by Holst Enger, who missed out completely. Definitely a missed opportunity. Hoping for much, much better later in this race.

But congratulations SN on the win, what a leadout by Afewerki!
Well, time to show we belong in PT, or at least Pluchkin does... Smile
Manager of Nemiroff - ABBYY in the PCM.Daily Man-Game

Hepburn is such a disappointing rider. I will just wait for that one day, where he overperforms (or performs according to his stats for once).

Haig though did quite good, I believe. Looking at how Phinney crushed the competition, he surely had a pretty good result in comparison to some other (bigger) GC contenders. May he start to believe in his climbing skills (or even start to believe he's a better climber than he actually is) Grin and we may get something from the GC here.

Phinney is sick, by the way.
That's not a good TT by Madrazo.
Wow, that was a crazy good TT for us Shock

Paillot with a superb performance and second place is more than I hoped for when I saw the startlist, and then there's also Galta, who surely delivered the TT of his life. Only having Phinney, Pluchkin, Sicard and Abal ahead in such a TT, with lots of great time trial riders behind, must be a once in a lifetime for him. Clearly on a sensational day, and I'll happily take it Smile

A top 10 overall suddenly looks a lot more doable now, with such a big gain to many of his predicted rivals for the lower top 10 placings. Fingers crossed there's more to come!

And congratulations on the win, Phinney does his usual thing, and with another TT to come, he must fancy his chances of overall success too.
Great TT by Korsæth, surely the TT of his life. Nice for him to be rewarded with the Youth jersey for a day or two.

Had hoped for better from Stake Laengen, but decent enough I guess.
4th place is decent by Vlatos... Too bad he lost a lot of time on stage 1...

Pluchkin going well, shame I can't score points Pfft

Golovash strong too, nice for a change! And Ulanowski on stage 1 was more than decent as well.
Manager of Nemiroff - ABBYY in the PCM.Daily Man-Game

Good TT by Reis, but could have been a bit better given that direct rivals, Abal and Galta gained time on us. Still a solid effort.

Phinney blasting the course in his own way as expected. Congrats!
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