June 13, 2011
Is the Dauphiné the gateway to Tour success?
Due to its position on the cycling calendar, the Critérium du Dauphiné is perennially used as a preparation race for the Tour de France. This has been the case going all the way back to the seventies when Eddy Merckx, Luis Ocana, Bernard Thevenet and Bernard Hinault all won the week-long race before going on to take victory in the Tour de France a month later.
Last year, the Dauphiné Libéré newspaper ceded organisation of the race to ASO, the company who also take care of the Tour de France. This change has seen the race embrace its moniker as a Tour preparation race even further by including a carbon copy of the final time trial of this year’s Tour de France.