2010 Dauphiné Libére route: First-ever finish at Alpe d’Huez
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Friday, April 16, 2010

2010 Dauphiné Libére route: First-ever finish at Alpe d’Huez

by Conal Andrews at 7:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné

After climbing Mont Ventoux last year, the Dauphiné Libéré will visit France’s other legendary climb this season following confirmation that Alpe d’Huez will host a stage finish in the race. It marks the first time in the event’s 62 year history that the ski resort will feature and the climb, which has been the scene of many epic battles in the Tour de France, is certain to play a major part in the outcome of the event.

“The Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré is one of the races on the agenda of all cycling fans,” said the organisers ASO in a statement. “It is also the moment chosen by champions to test their shape and to try out their performances on the most demanding roads of the Alps just a few weeks shy of the Tour de France start.

“This year, the race’s route will even include a new difficulty with a first-time finish at Alpe-d’Huez. In its 62 editions, the queen of all Alpine races had never climbed the most mythical pass of the area with its 21 numbered bends, its 14-km climb and its 1,000 meter difference in height. This odd fact will be history after the finish of stage six that will start from Crolles on Saturday, June 12th.”

The ProTour event will begin on Thursday June 6th with a prologue in Evian les Bains. Two road race stages follow, going from that town to Saint Laurent du Pont, and then from Annonay to Bourg Saint Andéol. June 9th should see the general classification contenders make their first big declarations, with a 49 kilometre time trial from Monteux to Sourgues.

One day later, the race heads west toward the high Alps via a 212 kilometre leg from Saint Paul Trois Chateaux to Risoul, the first summit finish of the race. Three more days of climbing are then on the agenda; stage five between Serre Chevalier and Grenoble will take the riders over Chamrousse and other mountains, then the following day there will be a highly-anticipated showdown between the big guns on Alpe d’Huez.

The eight-day race concludes with a tough stage from Allevard-les-Bains to Sallanches. The riders will complete five ascents of the tough Domancy climb, where thirty years ago Bernhard Hinault became world champion.

Many of cycling’s top riders are set to take part in the 1080 kilometre event, which will be their final stage race before the Tour de France. Defending Tour champion Alberto Contador (Astana) has already confirmed that he will be riding, and may wish to send out a big message before the start of the July event.

He was third overall in last year’s race, with Alejandro Valverde and Cadel Evans taking the first two slots in the general classification.

Tour de France owners ASO will organise the 2010 event and are thought likely to take over the race itself.


Prologue, Sunday 6 June: Evian-les-Bains – Evian-les-Bains
Stage 1, Monday 7 June: Evian-les-Bains – Saint Laurent-du-Pont
Stage 2, Tuesday 8 June : Annonay – Bourg Saint Andéol
Stage 3, Wednesdasy 9 June: Monteux – Sorgues (individual time trial), 49km
Stage 4, Thursday 10 June: Saint Paul Trois Chateaux – Risoul, 212km
Stage 5, Friday 11 June: Serre-Chevalier – Grenoble
Stage 6, Saturday 12 June: Crolles – Alpe d’Huez
Stage 7, Sunday 13 June: Allevard les Bains - Sallanches

(more details about the route will be released closer to the event)


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