PREVIEW | Criterium du Dauphine 2024 stage 4 - Evenepoel vs Roglic vs Ayuso vs Tarling on 34-kilometer time-trial

Stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphiné will be a very important day for the overall classification. The yellow jersey is likely to change hands once again on the sole time-trial of the race, and we preview a day where Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel will be among the favourites, but will be far from overwhelming contenders to take the stage win.

The fourth stage of the race is an individual time-trial. 34.4 kilometers in distance, it's an important day for the overall classification and will dictate differences before the riders reach the mountains. But this is not the average day against the clock, it's not mountainous but it's definitely not as flat as the race's profile indicates.

PREVIEW | Criterium du Dauphine 2024 stage 4 - Evenepoel vs Roglic vs Ayuso vs Tarling on 34-kilometer time-trial
Stage 4 (ITT): Saint-Germain-Laval - Neulise, 34.4 kilometers

Into Neulise the riders do find some gradients on the road. The first 15 kilometers are rather simple and flat, but the second half of the effort is not. The riders find two hilltops which average around 3% for several kilometers in roads that are rather technical.

Into the finale of the time-trial as well there is a 500-meter ramp at 5% just before the finish line where a few more differences can be made, and this can change the way the riders pace their effort.

The Weather

PREVIEW | Criterium du Dauphine 2024 stage 4 - Evenepoel vs Roglic vs Ayuso vs Tarling on 34-kilometer time-trial
Map Critérium du Dauphiné 2024 stage 4 

A warm afternoon with a slight western breeze. This will come as a tailwind throughout most of the time-trial.

The Favourites

Remco Evenepoel - The World Champion has an important day here. The time-trials at the Tour won't allow him to make any meaningful difference, if he can even win time on the competition. Here his chances are better. A flat today prevented him from sprinting for a top result, whilst stage 2 gave the sensation he didn't try to sprint. It's hard to gauge his form, but this is a very good time-trial for his characteristics. Unfortunately for him, he is not the only one.

Primoz Roglic - Primoz Roglic will have an eye on what is an important effort. The Slovenian has looked good so far in the race, and beat Evenepoel and the rest of the competition at Itzulia Basque Country. But it was a more explosive TT there, this time around not so much. Still his setup with BORA seemed to be very good, it will be interesting to see if he can follow that up.

Juan Ayuso - But the big wildcard is Ayuso. At Tirreno-Adriatico, he won the TT even beating Filippo Ganna in a pan-flat effort. That is some serious power and aerodynamics which can beat anyone in their best day. But he is not so consistent, in Romandie for example being beaten by relatively more modest days. Let's see which Ayuso we have tomorrow, but you can certainly expect a podium or even more.

Joshua Tarling - Tarling has dominantly won his only ITT of the season at O Gran Camiño, but this is a very different challenge - facing the best in the world in a relatively hilly time-trial. Not ideal for him, hence why I rate him a little lower. But the European Champion packs an enormous engine and with the climbs not being overly steep, he can certainly hold on to gains he may make in the faster sections.

It is a very important day for the overall classification, and all GC contenders will have to give their best. A few of them can also contest for a strong result on the day such as Ilan van Wilder, Carlos Rodríguez, Matteo Jorgenson and Aleksandr Vlasov. The likes of Mads Pedersen and Bruno Armirail - who have highlighted the race so far - together with outsiders such as Jonathan Castroviejo and Oier Lazkano can do quite well. I wouldn't be surprised to see race leader Derek Gee himself put in a solid Top10.

Prediction Criterium du Dauphiné 2024 stage 4:

*** Remco Evenepoel, Primoz Roglic
** Joshua Tarling, Juan Ayuso
* Bruno Armirail, Ilan van Wilder, Carlos Rodríguez, Mads Pedersen, Matteo Jorgenson, Oier Lazkano

Pick: Remco Evenepoel

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