Critérium du Dauphiné 2024: All you need to know

Eight days of racing will give a us glimpse into who is looking on form for the Tour de France in July

Date: Sunday June 2, 2024 - Sunday June 9, 2024
Start: Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule
Finish: Plateau des Glières  
Total distance: 1,187.6km 
Stages: Eight 
Defending champion: Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike)

Taking place in the southeast of France, the Critérium du Dauphiné is considered to be one of the most important races leading up to the Tour de France. Like many other big cycling races, the Critérium du Dauphiné was created by a newspaper to increase circulation, in this instance Le Dauphiné Libéré. After organising the race for many years, the French newspaper handed over its management to the Tour de France organisers ASO in 2010. The Critérium du Dauphiné now holds a prominent place in the ASO calendar of prestigious races. This year sees the race's 75th edition after having first taken place in 1947. 

Attracting some of the best riders, the Critérium du Dauphiné is a week-long showdown for those who will be racing in the Tour in July to fine-tune their form. Jonas Vingegaard will not be returning to retain his title, however, 2022 winner Primož Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe) will be on the starting line in the hopes of making a splash for his new team ahead of the Tour. He’ll come head-to-head with Remco Evenepeol (Soudal–Quick-Step), another GC rider who is targeting the race around France at the end of June. It is set to be a battle between these two sensational riders, but they will face competition in the form of Sepp Kuss (Visma-Lease a Bike), Carlos Rodrígues (Ineos Grenadiers), Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates), and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Lidl-Trek). 

Only a handful of riders have won the eight-stage race three times, including Nello Lauredi, Luis Ocaña, Bernard Hinault, Charly Mottet, and Chris Froome. Eleven riders have defended their titles throughout the race’s history, and in recent years, Alejandro Valverde, Bradley Wiggins, and Chris Froome have won the race in back-to-back years.

Primož Roglič during the 2022 editon of the Critérium du Dauphiné (Image by ASO)

Critérium du Dauphiné 2024 teams:

  • Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
  • Alpecin-Deceuninck 
  • Arkéa-B&B Hotels
  • Astana Qazaqstan 
  • Bahrain-Victorious 
  • Bora-Hansgrohe 
  • Cofidis 
  • EF Education-EasyPost 
  • Groupama-FDJ 
  • Ineos Grenadiers 
  • Intermarché-Wanty
  • Visma-Lease a Bike 
  • Lidl-Trek
  • Movistar
  • Soudal–Quick-Step
  • Team dsm-fermenich PostNL 
  • Jayco Alula
  • UAE Team Emirates 
  • Lotto Dstny 
  • Israel-Premier Tech
  • Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team
  • Uno-X Mobility

Critérium du Dauphiné 2024 route:

Map sourced from official Critérium du Dauphiné website 

The 2024 edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné is not for the faint-hearted. Race organisers ASO have designed a spectacularly testing route that will bring out the best mountain goats in the peloton. Overall, there are three hilly stages, one individual time trial, one flat stage, one flat with an uphill finale, and two back-to-back mountain stages to round off the week-long race. 

The opening stage begins in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule with the race’s one and only opportunity for the fast finishers of the bunch. The 172.5km route does include three categorised climbs in the first half of the stage, but nothing too difficult that should prevent the sprinters from battling it out for the stage win. 

Stages two and three are hilly affairs and should lean more towards the more punchier riders in the bunch. The following stage is the only individual time trial of the race, spanning 34.4km. It is a relatively flat course, minus a slight incline towards the end, so this will be a stage for those who excel in the race against the clock. Stage six is another hilly stage with four categorised climbs through the 167km route, most notably, the category two Côte de Duerne – 5km at 6.9% – in the middle of the race. 

The flat with an uphill finale on stage seven is where the race will really start to get interesting with the first mountain finish of the race. Le Collet d’Allevard is an 11.2km climb with an average gradient of 8.2%, and this is where we expect to see the GC contenders start their battle in their quest for the yellow jersey. 

Stage seven is another difficult day, with the most amount of climbing – 4,316 metres to be exact. Starting in Albertville, the 155.3km route features three first-category climbs, with the first climb beginning pretty much from the starting line. The stage then finishes with another summit finish atop Samoëns 1600, a 10km climb with an average gradient of 9.3%. The Dauphiné will end with another summit finish on the Plateau des Glières at the end of a 158.8km-long stage. With over 3,300m of elevation gain in every stage for the final three days of the race, whoever pulls on the yellow jersey at the end will be a well-deserved winner.

Stage one: 172.5km / Saint-Pourçain-Sur-Sioule - Saint-Pourçain-Sur-Sioule

Stage two: 142km / Gannat - Col de la Loge 

Stage three: 181.7km / Celles-Sur-Durolles - Les Estables 

Stage four: 34.3km / Saint-Germain-Laval - Neulise 

Stage five: 167km / Amplepuis - Saint Priest 

Stage six: 174.1km / Hauterives - La Collet d'Allecard 

Stage seven: 155.3km / Albertville - Samoëns 1600 

Stage eight: 160.6km / Thônes - Plateau des Glières 

Cover photo by ASO

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