85km to go
Jumbo-Visma leads the peloton at 2:00.
The riders pass through Valloire but have no time to stop for a coffee as so many riders do when climbing the Galibier.
Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious), Gregor Muhlberger, Carlos Verona (Movistar), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Omer Goldstein (Israel Premier Tech), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Victor Lafay (Cofidis) will soon join the front attack to make it 18 riders at the front.
Long descents always help the best descenders close gaps and so Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Andres Ardila (UAE Team Emirates) and Andrey Amador (Ineos Grenadiers) have joined Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM ) at the head of the race.
Indeed, Amador is going away alone as he takes speed.
We can count six different groups as the riders dive down the descent, passing the monument to Marco Pantani, that recalls his solo attack in the rain over the Galibier from this side in 1998.
As we expected, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) was first over the Galibier, scoring 15 points for his efforts.
A fast near 20km descent takes them to Valloire, then the descent of the twisting Col du Telegraaf, drops to the valley in Saint Martin de Maurienne.
They go over the top and start the long, long descent back to the valley road.
105km to go
There are several chase groups spread down the road as the summit nears.
Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Andres Ardila (UAE Team Emirates), Victor Lafay (Cofidis) and Laurens Huys (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) trail by 20 seconds.
Andrey Amador (Ineos Grenadiers), Carlos Verona (Movistar), Omer Goldstein (Israel Premier Tech), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Toms Skujins and Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM) are 10 ‘ seconds further behind.
The peloton is at 50 seconds as they let the breakaway riders try to take control.
🇬🇧 @dauphine 😍 @auvergnerhalpes 😍#AG2RCITROËNTEAM #RoulonsAutrement @auvergnerhalpes – © KBLB pic.twitter.com/nfeNEGNcftJune 11, 2022
110km to go
The riders are just 2km from the summit now.
They are near the Monumen Henri Desgrange, that remembers the first organizer of the Tour de France, and then the final hairpins of the climb.
They’re climbing into thin air.
Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) lead by 20 seconds, there is a nine-rider chase group and then Ineos Grenadiers lead the bunch at 30 seconds.
A group of two riders and then some chasers has formed as the road climbs and the views down the valley emerge with every meter of road climbed.
The Galibier is a real giant in the Alps and goes up to 2642m.
The climb is officially 22.8km long and his written some legendary pages in the history of the sport.
These were the early attacks.
Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) goes again. The French veteran is keen to take the KOM points atop the Galibier.
Meanwhile other riders are suffering out the back of the peloton.
This is a short, intense and painful stage for a bad day.
Laurens De Plus (Ineos Grenadiers), Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) have joined Rolland.
Other riders are trying to go across as the gradient steepens.
115km to go
Rolland now faces a harder climb of 7.5km to the legendary Galbier summit.
As the riders prepare to wing right and not the steeper slopes of the Galibier, Pierre Rolland has gone clear alone.
Other riders from the group of 29 are trying to chase him but so is the peloton.
As the Dauphine climbs in the mountains, riders are switching bikes and testing new equipment for the rapidly approaching Tour de France.
Patrick Fletcher is on the ground in France for Cyclingnews and spotted Enric Mas’ news Canyon Ultimate climbing bike.
Click below for all the details and a photo gallery.
Exclusive: New Canyon Ultimate breaks cover at Criterium du Dauphiné (opens in new tab)
Van Aert is part of a group of some 29 riders, who have opened a 10-second gap.
We’re seeing attacks for the stage and the GC, or kind of both. Even Wout van Aert is on the move!
This shot from the race director’s car by race radio Seb Piquet shows how the peloton is lined out.
Hello Mr. Galibier @dauphine #Dauphiné pic.twitter.com/zF0AWmRF4UJune 11, 2022
Group compatto. Nothing can get away for now, as riders and teams chase each other.
Now Ineos Grenadiers send 2 riders up the road but Jumbo quickly follow them.
125km to go
The first attack of 12 riders has been caught but more attacks are coming.
This is what the riders face very soon.
One of cycling’s greatest climbs 😍#Dauphine pic.twitter.com/mnSj6gFCmSJune 11, 2022
The cruelly placed intermediate sprint after just 5km also inspired attacks and hard racing. Ethan Hayter won it ahead of Luis Leon Sanchez and Toms Skujins who were looking to attack, not just core points.
Riders from QuickStep-AlphaVinyl, EF Education-EasyPost, TotalEnergies, Trek-Segafredo and Groupama-FDJ are all active.
This is an aggressive start to the stage.
The early part of the stage is a gradual climb up the Col du Lautaret before the right turn onto the steeper slopes of the Galibier.
There are already attacks as riders try to form the break of the day.
Today’s stage starts from Saint-Chaffrey and immediately scales the Col du Galibier.
This is the ‘easier’ side of the Alpine giant, and while it’s only 5.1%, it’s 23km long and rises to 2642 meters, where the oxygen is hard to come by.
Click below to read the full story on Chris Froome’s decision to abandon the race.
Chris Froome abandons Criterium du Dauphine due to illness (opens in new tab)
138 riders started stage 7. There were three non-starters: Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe), Chris Froome (Israel Premier Tech) and Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco).
Until now, we’ve had a Dauphine in which all six stages could feasibly have been won by Wout van Aert. He has taken two, and come agonizingly close to winning three more for Jumbo-Visma.
It’s difficult to design a route for any race that limits Van Aert’s chances, and his victory over Mont Ventoux at last year’s Tour makes overall victory a possible scenario. His place at the top of the standings with a lead of over a minute only adds to speculation of a GC bid.
It’s a big day for Wout van Aert and Jumbo-Visma.
🇬🇧 #DauphinéThe penultimate stage is about to start. 😎 pic.twitter.com/srKgdcjkjIJune 11, 2022
🚩 Let’s go for stage 7 of #Dauphiné!🚩 Stage 7 is underway! pic.twitter.com/hXuBh025W6June 11, 2022
The riders roll out for 4km of neutralized riding.
It’s going to a short but very hard stage and that is why most riders were warming up on the rollers.
As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the riders are lined up in the sun for the start of the stage.
Ready for one of the toughest stages of the year.#Dauphine pic.twitter.com/K8rLalpEyQJune 11, 2022
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 7 of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
It’s, finally, time to climb into the high Alps.