Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4: Live Trial – Crunch time for the GC contenders


Rémi Cavagna (Soudal-QuickStep) records new best time: 37:55, 38 seconds from Castroviejo

Confirmation of how fast this early decline…

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Kavagna breaks this down. He placed 26 seconds in Castroviejo at the first checkpoint and 35 seconds in the second. Barring a train derailment at the last minute, the “TGV of Clermont-Ferrand” will be rolling into the hot seat soon.

Talking about timed trial menus…

Remco Evenpoel records 231km training ride with 4335m of climbing ahead of the Tour de Suisse

(Image credit: Remco Evenepoel/Instagram)

Durbridge during his TT ride nearly missed it

Luke Durbridge during the 2023 Criterium du Dauphiné time trial on Stage 4

Luke Durbridge during the 2023 Criterium du Dauphiné time trial on Stage 4 (Image credit: Getty)

Luke ‘Turbo Durbo’ Durbridge (Jayco-AIUIa) comes home with an excellent time of 38:36, which is far too slow to beat Basque’s time. Incidentally, his only WorldTour win to date was when he was a former Fifa U-23 World Champion. He regained the Dauphiné prologue in 2012, which was held in a park in Grenoble, and when he finished one second faster than Bradley Wiggins.

Castroviejo knocks Mullen out of the lead with a time of 38:33, 50 seconds faster than the Irishman.

One of the top favorites, Remy Cavagna (Soual-QuickStep), started the race.

Ryan Mullen (Bora-Hansgrohe), a five-time Irish National Champion, currently has the provisional best time at the finish: 39:23.

Ben Turner (Eneos Grenadier) is reported to have crashed off the track.

And here is Castroviejo at work today

Jonathan Castroviejo during the 2023 Criterium du Dauphiné stage 4 time trial

(Image credit: Getty)

For the second day in a row, the weather is expected to remain dry and mostly sunny in the afternoon, with temperatures around 26°C. A light breeze, but nothing major. 2023 Giro d’Italia, eat your heart out.

Stage 4 of the 2023 Critérium du Dauphiné

Start: km 0 (courses)

Checkpoint 1: 10.7 km (Mars)

Checkpoint 2: 19.7 km (Saint-Denis de Cabane)

End: Km 31.1 (Belmont-de-la-Loire)

Shot of rookie Dylan van Barlee (Jumbo-Visma) on Stage 4 of the TT course

Dylan van Baarle (Jumbo-Visma) during Stage 4 TT of the 2023 Criterium du Dauphiné

(Image credit: Getty)

The view from the starting ramp a few minutes ago

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For a full list of start times, look no further than here:

2023 Critérium du Dauphiné, stage with 4 starts

12 of the 140 riders are now off the track. With intervals between the minutes down to race leader Laporte at 1600, the results will come thick and fast.

However, the GC contenders will certainly want a chance at glory today, and Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) is arguably the frontrunner. On a course like this that suits him on the ground, the Dane will be looking to make his mark before the mountains. He’s also likely to use his teammate Dylan van Parlee, another great time trial roster (and former Dutch national champion again in 2018) who is just starting the TT, as a point of reference. Vingegaard start time: 1545.

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Other top time trial specialists include former hour record holder Victor Campinaerts (Lotto-Destiny), multiple U-23 World Champion Mikkel Berg (UAE Emirates Team), US National TT Champion Lawson Craddock (Jayco-AIUIa)… it’s long list.

At the other end of the spectrum, today’s stage presents a chance to shine for both the Specialized time trial rosters and GC contenders. Of the former, Rémi Cavagna (Soudal-QuickStep), also known as the ‘TGV of Clermont Ferrand’ is one of the favorites – and if he wins, being French, it would send cycling statisticians into the history books as to when the Dauphine won the last four French stage winners The first four. (Clue: A heck of a long time).

Stage 4 is now underway, with Donovan Gondin (Arkéa-Samsic) starting. As King of the Mountains on a day when there are no KoM points on display, it’s probably all for him today to get from A to B upright and accident/accident free.

Yesterday’s race featured post-stage drops for sprinters Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dylan Groenewegen (Gaiko-AIUIa), finishing second and third across the line but then dropping to 33rd and 34th. Find out why here:

Groenewegen, Bennett declassified for swerving at Critérium du Dauphiné Sprint

After abandoning Andrey Zeits (Astana Qazaqstan) in Tuesday’s first and biggest late crash, the 140 riders are scheduled to start today, although there is still time for the teams to announce a late DNS.

Here’s a breakdown of what riders have to tackle today:

Stage 4 of the 2023 Criterium du Dauphiné is a 31.1km individual time trial from the Cours to Belmont-de-la-Loire, a crunch test that you can break into four sections. It starts straight with a short, not too difficult, 2.2km climb, then there’s a long gentle descent, alongside a 10km piece of rolling terrain, and finally a very slow but steady climb of 12km to the finish. Calculating your effort on such a mixture of gradients won’t be easy, and the first clear rider on the GC will likely be whoever comes out on top of the score sheet at the end of the day.

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After that trip down cycling memory lane, I had five minutes left before the race started.

Tuesday’s third stage was marked by France’s third consecutive victory in the Dauphine in as many days. Stage one winner Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) took his second victory in the 2023 race, 24 hours after the victory of compatriot Julien Alaphilippe (Sodal-Quickstep). Discounting prologues, this is the first time the host nation has claimed a hat-trick in the opening Dauphiné stages since 1958 (wait for it), when Francis Peplin, Camille Le Main and Jean Lerda achieved stages 1, 2 and 3. Success was only broken on stage 4 from Gap to Uriage, when Italian Pierre Polo took first place. It was Polo’s second Dauphine stage win, by the way, after one in 1956 and one of only three in his career. He finished fourth in that year’s race, however, which was won by Louis Rostolain of France.

Here’s a quick GC look at how things look: Expect changes by the end of the day…

The Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 overall classification after stage 3

(Image credit: FirstCycling)

Before we get into today’s race, which starts at 1341 local time when mountains classification leader Donovan Grondin (Arkia Samsik) rolls down the starting slope, here’s a quick look at what happened yesterday:

Critérium du Dauphiné: Christophe Laporte wins stage 3 as Bennett descends, Gronevision

Christophe Laporte wins the third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné

Christophe Laporte wins the third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné (Image credit: Getty)

It’s the first major GC day at the 2023 Critérium du Dauphiné, which is a mid-week time trial before the main mountain stages on Saturday and Sunday.

Hello and welcome to Cycllingnews’ live coverage of Stage 4 of the 2023 Critérium du Dauphiné

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