The Criterium du Dauphine will be arriving in Chatel next weekend for the 8th and final stage.

This is one of Europe’s big annual road cycling races, and many of the Tour de France teams use it as a warm-up for the big event. Being in a mountainous area the race is usually won by a climbing specialist, and often features several of the most famous climbing stage from Le Tour.

This year the Dauphine is made up of a 1 short prologue stage around the town of Grenoble followed by 7 full stages, and covers a total distance of 1,052 kilometres. Starting Sunday 3rd June in Grenoble and finishing on Sunday 10th June in Chatel.

There are 22 teams and 175 riders running this year, with some big names including Brady Wiggins, Cadel Evans & Andy Schleck to name a few. Obviously I’ll be cheering on team Sky and Brady Wiggins (one of only 3 riders from GB), hopefully he should be in the running for winning the race.

Hopefully the weather will be fine, last year in April Chatel hosted a stage from the Tour de Romandie and after 3 weeks of glorious weather it rained all day when the tour arrived. This year Brady Wiggins won the 2012 66th Tour de Romandie, hope that is a good sign for next weekend!

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