Preview. After a few days for the sprinters and puncheurs, stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphiné will present a new and difficult challenge. The race's time-trial will be key for the overall classification and should see a change in the yellow jersey.
Stage 4 is the race's individual time-trial. Comparing to the Tour de France, this day alone sees more kilometers against the clock than in the Grand Tour. Here there will be 31 kilometers, not pan-flat but mostly without tough gradients.
Estimated start and finish times for Criterium du Dauphiné stage 4: 13:30-16:35CET
It's not an easy task in any way, and most of all pacing will be hard to gauge, the riders do face a difficult one to measure. There is a 2.2-kilometer climb at 4.7% almost at the start of the time-trial, which then follows a gentle descent where the riders do lose more than 300 meters in altitude.
They will regain many of them towards the line. It isn't a categorized climb, and you would barely call it a climb, but it exists. The final 9 kilometers have an average gradient of 2%, in some sections - including the final 3 kilometers - going over that. It will make a difference, specially in a day where gaps can be small among the best and the overall classification will be at stake.
No wind is expected on the day, the temperatures will be at around 25 degrees so it'll be a decent test for the Tour de France, without many variables to consider.
Jonas Vingegaard - Vingegaard has the GC in mind and every second will count. The Dane has a big engine, and although it is not certain there are signs his form is good. With the drag to the line and the lack of a serious TT competition it will not be easy for anyone to beat him, in what could be a deadly strike in the GC fight.
Rémi Cavagna - The Frenchman is a strong time-trialist but this season he hasn't taken that one win which confidently puts him as the man to beat. Surely he can outpace Vingegaard in the downhill sections, but the biggest gaps won't be made there. One which he needs his best legs to take the win, but if anyone can beat the Dane I think it'll be him.
In the battle for the GC you will see most riders trying to limit losses. Among those who could ambition to take time on fellow rivals in the fight for the podium we could certainly see the likes of Matteo Jorgenson for example. Adam Yates and Daniel Martínez can on their best day ride extremely well against the clock but they will need their very best legs.
It's a time-trial which includes some climbing and that could make Vingegaard the man to beat here. However it'll also make for an effort that will not be easy to measure and could lead to surprises. Many will try to do so. Nelson Oliveira, Benjamin Thomas, Mikkel Bjerg, Lawson Craddock, Nils Politt, Luke Durbridge, Dylan van Baarle, Victor Campenaerts, Brent van Moer... I wouldn't be surprised to see Christophe Laporte finish within the Top10, specially as he is looking to keep the yellow jersey and has some lead.
Prediction Criterium du Dauphiné 2023 stage 4:
*** Jonas Vingegaard
** Matteo Jorgenson, Rémi Cavagna
* Daniel Martínez, Nelson Oliveira, Benjamin Thomas, Mikkel Bjerg, Lawson Craddock, Dylan van Baarle, Christophe Laporte
Pick: Jonas Vingegaard