2021 Criterium du Dauphine

Geraint Thomas Leads Top Five Favorites For The Critérium du Dauphiné

Geraint Thomas Leads Top Five Favorites For The Critérium du Dauphiné

The Critérium du Dauphiné should show us who is in form for the Tour de France, based on our data so far, these are the five top riders to watch.

May 11, 2021 by Gregor Brown
Is This Thomas's Tour To Lose?

The Critérium du Dauphiné reliably reveals who is on form for the Tour de France, which comes just three weeks later. While it is not the only preparatory race for the Tour, the Critérium du Dauphiné is used every year by many of the top general classification contenders to catapult themselves to success in the Tour. 

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While many Tour de France hopefuls have stepped away from racing this month, to train for the busy summer ahead, FloBikes has taken what we have seen in the first part of the season to predict which riders look poised to get a top result at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers)

The Welshman is back. After three years, it seems that Geraint Thomas has what it takes to win the Tour de France again. 

Thomas rounded off the Ineos podium in the Volta a Catalunya in March and in May, he took a second Tour de Romandie overall title, a feat he last accomplished in 2018 en route to winning the Tour de France. 

Just like in 2018, the Dauphiné should be where he makes his mark before going on to the Tour.

Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation)

It would be a big bet with long odds to go with Chris Froome to win the Critérium du Dauphiné this June 6, but don't forget about the caliber of rider in discussion. The four-time Tour de France winner is putting in the hard miles to win a fifth title and the Dauphiné will be crucial as he builds towards the Tour. 

It was a crash during the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné which broke Chris Froome's leg and set him on this long road to recovery. Can he put all that behind him two years later?

Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic)

The Colombian Nairo Quintana has had his highs and lows since joining France's Arkéa-Samsic team. Last year, he won the Provence and the Tour des Alpes Maritimes overall titles, and the queen stage in Paris-Nice, but the 2020 summer was not what he wanted.

Like Froome, however, he that class that does not disappear. Nairo trained hard these last months in Colombia and the results came: seventh in the Tour of the Alps and winning the Vuelta Asturias overall in May. The Tour could have too many time trials for him, but the Dauphiné would be perfect with the three Alpine summit finishes that end it.

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

With Primoz Roglic opting to train at altitude, rather than racing the Dauphiné, American Sepp Kuss could inherit Jumbo-Visma's leadership position. 

The course suits Kuss well with only 16.5 kilometers of time trialing and plenty of mountain stages. Kuss would receive robust support from teammates Wout Van Aert and Steven Kruijswijk, should he be the chosen leader. 

Kuss would then return to his role as Roglic's right hand man in the mountains of the Tour, before taking on grand tour leadership at the Vuelta a España.

Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe)

Wilco Kelderman is eager for a win with his new Bora-Hansgrohe outfit. The Dutchman joined the team last year after a fallout with DSM/Sunweb at the Giro d'Italia. 

The team was torn between working for Kelderman or Jai Hindley. It went with Hindley, who won a stage and placed second overall. Everyone was saying "What if," including Kelderman who took third place overall behind Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) and Hindley. 

His opportunity for a big GC win could finally arrive in the Dauphiné.