The 2023 Critérium du Dauphiné, which takes place from June 4-11, presents riders with a slow build from the rolling terrain of the Puy-de-Dôme department at Chambon-sur-Lac to the highest finish in the race’s history on the Col de la Croix-de-Fer over eight stages.
Sunday, June 4, 2023: Stage 1 – Chambon-sur-Lac to Chambon-sur-Lac, 157.7 km
The opening stage takes place around Chambon-sur-Lac, a commune that sits in the shadow of the sprawling Parc naturel régional des Volcans d’Auvergne – an area of 80 dormant volcanoes – one of which, the Puy-de-Dôme, gives the department its name.
The peloton will have to wait to tackle any major climbs, however, as they skirt the Super-Besse ski station and tackle instead five category 4 climbs in the foothills. After one large lap, the stage finishes with three loops of a circuit that includes the Côte du Rocher de l’Aigle, the last ascent crested with around 10km to go, before a descent to the finish and uphill kick to the line.
Monday, June 5, 2023: Stage 2 – Brassac-les-Mines to La Chaise-Dieu, 167.3 km
Stage 2 of the 2023 Criterium du Dauphine takes place on June 5 with a 167.3km route out of Brassac-les-Mines in Puy-de-Dôme and into Haute-Loire with a finishing circuit in La Chaise-Dieu.
It’s a lumpy route with four categorized climbs, but is front-loaded with two category 3 ascents, the Col de la Toutée (2.2 km at 6%) and Col des Fourches (2.7 km at 6.5%). The two finish laps include the category 4 Côte des Guêtes (1 km at 8%) with another climb inside 10km to go. It’s another stage for the puncheurs.
Tuesday, June 6: Stage 3 – Monistrol-sur-Loire to Le Coteau, 191.3 km
The sprinters will have their day if all goes to plan on stage 3 with the Critérium du Dauphiné leaving the Massif Central and heading toward flatter ground outside Lyon. The stage is not without its difficulties, however. Riders must tackle the category 2 Côte de Bellevue-la-Montagne (4.9 km at 5.8%) just 36km into the stage, but other than that, it should be smooth sailing on this longest stage of the race.
The category 4 Côte de Neulise (7.5 km at 3%) inside 20km to go will hardly get in the way of the sprinters and will probably only spell the end of the day’s early breakaway.
Wednesday, June 7:…
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