Critèrium du Dauphinè – Part 1

As previously mentioned, my “Tour de France 2022” is more like a “Critérium du Dauphiné”, given the duration.

Traditionally that features stages in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie, both departments in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

With our base camp located in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, I have the opportunity to incorporate (parts of) the two last stages of this year’s edition in my trip(s).

This post tackles the “familiar terrain” part of that.

The Dauphiné’s stage 7 actually passed through Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, from where the Croix de Fer was tackled, followed by an uphill finish in Vaujany (Isère region, close to Alpe d’Huez).

Before entering the Mauriènne valley, the Galibier was tackled from the “Briançon end”, including two-thirds of the Lautaret from there.

Although it is definitely possible to ride that stage, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

As a prologue, it would mean a long transfer to Briançon, as we have a sleepover just past Lyon.

It would make more sense to start with the Lautaret from Le-Bourg-d’Oissans, but that would amount to a counter-clockwise Marmotte, if I want to finish in Vaujany1.

Plus, we then need to get back over the Croix-de-Fer/Glandon to get to our base camp…

And as a stage during the week, we would have to get over the Galibier from our end (by car) to get to the start of the Dauphiné’s stage, which seems like a waste.

While my prologue of the Tour de France 2017 was also the Lautaret – although at the time, the new tunnel was not ready yet and I cycled the detour – I did not get up the final to the Galibier summit because of the horrible weather.

But the Galibier has been cycled several times, so I tend to focus on things I haven’t done this year.

(Although I will probably climb some of the most attractive cols anyway and the Galibier is worth the effort.)

So, I’m now thinking of starting at the base of the Croix de Fer in Rochetaillée as I did last year, but cycle up Col du Sabot, which passes through Vaujany.

On the way back down, I might cycle the (fork to) Collet de Vaujany and/or Oz Station, and then finish off the prologue with the Glandon.

Or the Croix de Fer (like last year), as descending that brings me directly to our apartment, but the Glandon descend is such an adrenaline rush 😂

Tour de France 2022 main page here.

1 After I wrote my post, I saw the “L’Etape du Tour” challenge on Strava and that is Tour de France stage 12, which is almost the same as this Dauphiné stage, but with a finish on the Alpe d’Huez…

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