The 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné route was revealed today.
writer hack at Podium Café complained last year that Col du Grand Colombier (not Col de la Colombière) was the most overlooked climb in France, it will now not only appear in the the 2012 Tour de France for the first time, but will also feature in the 2012 Dauphiné. Much fun.
The race, organized by ASO (the Tour de France guys), will take place from June 3rd to June 10th. We'll do a thorough course preview as the race approaches, but after the jump are a few highlights for us all to savour while the alpine snows melt.
Bottom line? I like the course.
Photo: An unknown Podium Café reporter jumps for joy: Joux Plane is in the 2012 Dauphiné:
It's a very balanced course, with something to love for everyone. There will be a Prologue plus seven Stages:
- Two time trials:
- A short 6 kilometre prologue in Grenoble
- A flat 53 km Individual Time Trial
- Two flat stages for the sprinters (moo!)
- Two very interesting mid-mountain stages
- Two high mountain stages, each with a tough HC climb.
Stage 5 includes Le Grand Colombier. It's unclear to me at the moment which of it's fearsome four sides will be climbed - but they all hurt in their own special way. It's a bumpy stage, with several other cols, but an easy second half of the stage might neutralize the climbs. Stage profile.
Stage 6 is the queen stage at least from a difficulty point of view. It starts by immediately climbing a good sized col and then just gets harder. It has six categorized climbs including Col de la Colombière (Not Grand Colombier!!! I know, very confusing) and the famous side of Col de Joux Plane - before a hair-raising descent to the finish at Morzine. The last half of the is the same as the "miracle" Floyd Landis TdF stage. Stage profile.
Stage 7 will end the race with a superb mid-mountain stage through cheese (Abondance) country, with a non-steep, but uphill, last few kilometres. Hopefully the entire race will still be up for grabs. Stage profile.