Croix-de-Fer, Bastille climb to decide 2023 Critérium du Dauphiné

The 75th edition of the traditional Tour de France tuneup features a long time trial and a wild final weekend in the French Alps.

Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images

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A summit finale at Col de la Croix-de-Fer and a final-day Bastille climb on the heights above Grenoble will provide the setting for a wild finale to the 75th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Officials revealed details of the 2023 course Thursday that also features a 31.1km individual time trial between Cours and Belmont-de-la-Loire.

Long a favored testing ground for Tour de France-bound favorites, the 2023 route serves up a traditional balance for its eight-stage route June 4-11.

Last year, Jonas Vingegaard finished second to Jumbo-Visma teammate Primož Roglič before winning the Tour in July.

The highest stage finish in history will take place at the top of Col de la Croix-de-Fer pass at 2067m. The final stage returns to the short but steep climb to the Bastille above Grenoble for the first time since it served as a prologue in the 2000 edition.

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Sprinters and attackers will hold sway in the opening stages in the Puy-de-Dôme department at Chambon-sur-Lac and at La Chaise-Dieu in the Haute-Loire department, and in Le Coteau in stage 3.

A 31.1km time trial between Cours and Belmont-de-la-Loire is slated for stage 4.

The race turns into Jura department and Salins-les-Bains in a route for attackers. The following days enters Crest-Voland, and a climb over the Col des Aravis pass and a final ascent of 2.5km and 6.2 percent.

The final weekend follows the traditional Dauphiné blueprint with a big-climb stage on the penultimate day with more than 4000m in 147.7km that ends atop the Croix-de-Fer.

Sunday’s finale is a doozy. The closing 50km climbs up the Col du Granier, Col de Cucheron, and then the Col de Porte all before plunging down to Grenoble for the final but formidable climb up to the Bastille Fort.

The finishes of the Critérium du Dauphiné at La Bastille:

. 1977: Romans-sur-Isère > Bastille (214 km), won by Bernard Hinault
. 1979: Bastille > Bastille (Ind. t-t., 4 km), won by Bernard Hinault
. 1981: Bastille > Bastille (prologue, 3 km), won by Johan Van der Velde
. 1982: Bourgoin > Bastille (187.5 km), won by Robert Alban
. 1988: Grenoble > Bastille (Ind. t-t., 26.7 km), won by Lucho Herrera
. 1989: Crest > Bastille (230 km), won by Thierry Claveyrolat
. 1993: Bonneville > Bastille (192 km), won by Laurent Dufaux
. 1996: Briançon > Bastille (174 km), won by Luc Leblanc
. 2000: Bastille > Bastille (prologue, 3.6 km), won by Alberto Lopez de Munain

Stages of the 75th edition June 4-11:

Sunday, June 4, stage 1: Chambon-sur-Lac > Chambon-sur-Lac, 157,7 km
Monday, June 5, stage 2: Brassac-les-Mines > La Chaise-Dieu, 167,3 km
Tuesday, June 6, stage 3: Monistrol-sur-Loire > Le Coteau, 191,3 km
Wednesday, June 7, stage 4: Cours > Belmont-de-la-Loire, 31,1 km (clm-ind.)
Thursday, June 8, stage 5: Cormoranche-sur-Saône > Salins-les-Bains, 191,1 km
Friday, June 9, stage 6: Nantua > Crest-Voland, 168,2 km
Saturday, June 10, stage 7: Porte-de-Savoie > Col de la Croix de Fer, 147,7 km
Sunday, June 11, stage 8: Le Pont-de-Claix > La Bastille – Grenoble Alpes Métropole, 152,8 km

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