A climb-heavy route for the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné was unveiled Monday, and the field will feature 2013 champion Chris Froome (Sky), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).
After an opening individual time trial in Lyon on June 8, stage 2 ends with the grueling 13.6-kilometer (6.6 percent) climb up the Col du Béal. From there, two sprinter-friendly stages are on the schedule before the race heads into the mountains for the remaining stages.
Stage 5 from Sisteron to La Mure measures 184km and features several climbs, including the Côte de Laffrey (6.3km at 6.2 percent). Stage 6 is another day for the sprinters, while the seventh stage includes a leg-breaking ascent of the Col de la Forclaz (12.6km at 8.2 percent) before a summit finish on Finhaut-Émosson (10.2km at 8 percent).
The final stage, a 130.5km trip from Megève to Courchevel, has three Cat. 1 climbs and a Cat. 2 climb that could throw a wrench into the GC.
The Tour de France tuneup race is slated for June 8-15.
2014 Criterium du Dauphine
Stage 1: June 8, Lyon to Lyon, 10km (individual time trial)
Stage 2: June 9, Tarare to Pays d’Olliergues-Col du Béal, 158.5km
Stage 3: June 10, Ambert to Le Teil, 194km
Stage 4: June 11, Montélimar to Gap, 169.5km
Stage 5: June 12, Sisteron to La Mure, 184km
Stage 6: June 13, Grenoble to Poisy, 168km
Stage 7: June 14, Ville-la-Grand to Finaut-Émosson (Switzerland), 161.5km
Stage 8: June 15, Megève to Courchevel, 130.5km