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Having seen a Eurosport advert for the prologue last night we thought we’d give you a bit of a low-down on the Dauphine Libere race which starts on Sunday in the town of Evian (you may have heard of it).

Having lived there for a year and filling my empty bottles up from the spring by the lake many a time, the surrounding area is tough terrain and even the town centre prologue has a decent rise in it.

Stages:

Stage 1: A town centre prologue taking in the views of Lake Geneva and passing the famous Casino. It has a fairly steady up & down profile which will give the spectators a great chance to see the riders flying over the line, riding into Evian from the south feels like you’ve ridden to the Riveria – even more so if its a warm dry day. A very glamorous start to the race.


Stage 4: further south now and the climbs are getting nearer. This stage finishes at 1870m (the start is at 108m) so a tester for the following day. With Grenoble in the distance and the maps marking this area as the ‘Hautes Alpes’ the race should become interesting over the next day or two.


Stage 5: taking the riders through the popular ski resort of Serre-Chevalier, a 2nd category climb from the start and the HC climb Chamrousse – two massive spikes in the profile.


Stage 6: the legendary Alpe d’Huez – we found this image on steephill.tv and it took all of our breaths away:

It’s a touch shorter at 151km but with the Col de Grand Cucheron and Glandon arriving before hitting ADH its going to take its toll on everyone – if you have to watch one stage this is the one and look at that view!!!


Who’s riding?

With the general theme being ‘climbs’ the race is going to be a favourite for the likes of Contador, and Oscar Pereiro.

Also riding are Christophe Moreau, Luis Leon Sanchez, Samuel Sanchez, Gutierrez, David Millar, Danielson, Nibali, Denis Menchov, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Stéphane Auge. A long list but there are a lot of good names in this race!

For the breakaway: Van Den Broeck with Kevin Van Imp.

Boasson Hagen’s return is most welcome, since meeting him at the Tour of Britain last year he’s been on our list of riders to watch.

…….and purely for his awesome name: Marco Velo of Quickstep.

With the Tour de France looming, this hilly race will attract many who fancy themselves as contenders for the grand prize in July. The Alpe d’Huez climb is pure cycling gold as well, so be sure not to miss a minute of the action.

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