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RACE BREAKDOWN: Dauphiné Takeaways & What to Watch at Suisse

Ten Takeaways from the Dauphine and Suisse

Dauphiné and Suisse BREAKDOWN: Jumbo-Visma showed what they could do at the Dauphiné and the real action in the Tour de Suisse is about to kick off. What can we take from these Tour ‘practice’ races? Spencer Martin gives us his ‘BREAKDOWN’ heading towards the 2022 Tour de France.

– This article is an excerpt from the Beyond the Peloton newsletter. Sign up here for full access. –

Jumbo Dauphiné domination

Jumbo-Visma dominated at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, getting three stage wins, holding the yellow jersey for seven out of the eight stages, and completely decimating the GC competition with Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard finishing first and second in the overall with a massive gap over third-place Ben O’Connor.

Ben O’Connor could do no more

While this is an important pre-Tour de France win for Roglič, the extremely strong performance of his teammate Vingegaard in the final two mountain stages raised questions in my mind about his ability to seriously challenge Tadej Pogačar, and even his status as the team’s clear leader, in the coming Tour de France. Ultimately, we won’t know the answer until the Tour peloton hits the stage 7 ascent of La Planche des Belles Filles, but as much as a victory can be cast as a negative, I’m officially concerned about Roglič’s prospect for a Tour de France overall win.

drome 22
Could Vingegaard be Jumbo’s top man at the Tour?

Meanwhile, across the Alps in Switzerland, Remco Evenepoel and Aleksandr Vlasov kicked off an intriguing GC battle while Ineos’ veterans Adam Yates and Geraint Thomas took important first steps towards solidifying their Tour leadership and Peter Sagan hinted that he just might be up to battle Wout van Aert for the Green Jersey at the upcoming Tour de France with a vintage sprint victory on stage 3.

Is this the Peter Sagan of old?

1) Jumbo-Visma has clearly corrected their issues from the Giro d’Italia, and are flying ahead of the Tour de France…

  • …But the extremely weak field they faced at the Dauphiné shouldn’t have them popping the champagne just yet.
  • You can only race the competition that shows up, and Ben O’Connor was 4th at last year’s Tour de France, but come July, everything will boil down to a single question: can they beat Tadej Pogačar?

The Slovenian announced that ‘he is back’

2) Primož Roglič gets a big overall, but I’m still not convinced he is ‘back’

  • The Slovenian announced that ‘he is back’ after riding into the race lead on stage 7, but his relatively flat time trial performance on stage 5, and the fact that he looked somewhat outclassed by his teammate Vingegaard on the climbs still has me wondering if his form is truly up to a direct challenge with Pogačar in just a few weeks’ time.
  • For example, while his ride on stage 7 essentially won him the race, he ‘only’ put 14-seconds into O’Connor by the top of the climb, failed to execute his infamous ‘mow down’ move on Carlos Verona, and struggled again on stage 8 to put massive time into O’Connor.

Will it be a Vingegaard/Pogačar Tour battle?

3) Jonas Vingegaard looks incredible and far better than he did before his surprise 2nd place overall ride at the 2021 Tour de France

  • Without his slight underperformance in the stage 5 TT that saw him lose 30-seconds to Roglič, Vingegaard likely would have won this race and opened up a messy can of worms for his Jumbo team prior to the Tour de France.
  • With this in mind, they likely won’t be too upset that he wasn’t able to execute better against the clock.
  • However, the fact that he seemed to be breathing through his nose while Roglič attacked on stage 7 and the strength of his acceleration that dropped Jack Haig, Damiano Caruso, Tao Geoghegan Hart, and Ben O’Connor, and his ability to pull his teammate to the line on stage 8 will still plant seeds of doubts in many minds about who the stronger rider at Jumbo is prior to the Tour.

Jumbo-Visma had the upper-hand in the Dauphiné

4) The thrashing Jumbo gave out was expected, but still shocking in its scope

  • We knew before the race that they were the strongest team here and that they would likely win the overall competition, but even with this in mind, I was surprised that nobody else was even in the same time zone.
  • Outside of O’Connor, nobody finished within 2-minutes in the GC, which is somewhat shocking in a relatively short stage race with only two real mountain stages.

Ineos not looking all dominant like before – Thomas and Yates the Tour spearhead

5) Ineos was particularly poor

  • They still have a chance to show signs of life at the Tour de Suisse, but while Jumbo duly passed their pre-Tour pass/fail test at the Dauphiné, Ineos looked more like a team who deployed their top resources to the Giro and have little left for the Tour.
  • I was willing to give Tao Geoghegan Hart a second look as a GC contender after Jai Hindley’s recent Giro win retroactively raised the stock of Geoghegan Hart’s 2020 Giro victory, but he still appears to be struggling to rediscover the form he possessed two years ago and almost certainly won’t be a viable option for the British superteam in July.

Ben O’Connor – Good for a Tour podium, but he will be in a fight with Vingegaard (and a couple of Slovenians)

6) Ben O’Connor should be a major podium contender at this year’s Tour de France

  • The Australian rider finished a surprise 4th place at the 2021 Tour de France after gaining a massive chunk of time in an early breakaway. While this appeared to be a high water mark due to how difficult it is to replicate results generated from breakaways, he appears to be back and better in 2022 and has to be considered a contender for the Tour podium.
  • Highlighting his level is that in two summit finishes, he lost only 29-seconds in real (non-time-bonus time) to Roglič.

Kruijswijk – Back on the Jumbo-Visma Tour roster after his work in the Dauphiné

7) Steven Kruijswijk might have ridden his way back into Jumbo’s Tour de France team

  • Kruijswijk, who had struggled in recent years and appeared to be over the hill at 35-years-old, looked incredible at this Dauphiné and served as a valuable climbing domestique for Roglič over the final weekend.
  • After Van Aert, Vingegaard and Roglič take up three of the team’s eight total slots, this performance will be key to allowing him to be included in the remaining five rider slots that will be contested between himself Sepp Kuss, Rohan Dennis, Mike Teunissen, Robert Gesink, Tiesj Benoot, Nathan van Hooydonck, and Christophe Laporte.

Remco Evenepoel – About to release the tiger in Suisse?

What to Watch at the Tour de Suisse

8) Remco’s return to high mountain GC racing

  • While he has won four stage races plus the climb-heavy Liège-Bastogne-Liège since dropping out of the 2021 Giro d’Italia after struggling in the race’s high mountain stages, none of been contested on seriously long and difficult alpine climbs and he appeared to struggle at the recent Itzulia Basque Country when ramps were steep and sustained.
  • This coming week, which features two seriously difficult summit finishes, will be a massive test for the 22-year-old and give us a hint as to whether he will be able to transition into a full-fledged three-week stage racer.

basque22 st6
Dani Martínez – Not a leader for Ineos at the Tour

9) Ineos’ Tour de France GC auditions

  • Despite arriving with uber-talented semi-youngster Dani Martínez, the veterans Adam Yates and Geraint Thomas are the only two Ineos riders within a minute of the race’s GC lead.
  • While we still have a lot left at this race, this likely tells us that the team’s GC focus at the Tour will be solely between Yates and Thomas.

tour 20 sagan
Sagan looking for green?

10) Peter Sagan tuning up for a potential run at the Tour’s Green Jersey

  • After veterans like Jakob Fuglsang and Alberto Bettiol found themselves outdone by unknowns in the first two stages (Stephen Williams and Andreas Leknessund), Peter Sagan reminded us all that he is still a contender for Tour de France stage wins when he took stage 3 in a tricky bunch sprint finish.
  • This performance from a Sagan who has clearly been rejuvenated by his time abroad training in high-altitude Park City, Utah, also opens the possibility that we could get an intriguing battle between him and Wout van Aert for the Point’s Jersey at the upcoming Tour de France.
  • On its face, this might seem a somewhat absurd idea since Sagan has struggled to find competitive form in recent years while Van Aert won every type of Tour de France stage available in 2021 and is one of the most talented riders ever to race on the road. But the fact that Van Aert will also have to split his Green Jersey ambitions between his day job as a domestique for Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard while Sagan only has to focus on winning stages and racking up points, could even the tables just enough to give Sagan a chance.

Green jersey for Wout van Aert

# Spencer Martin is the author of the cycling-analysis newsletter Beyond the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of each race and answers big picture questions surrounding team and rider performance. Sign up now to get full access to all the available content and race breakdowns. #

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