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Alpe d’Huez highlights 2010 Dauphiné Libéré, Contador is targeting

Contador on stage 7 of the 2009 Criterium Dauphine Libere. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK HERTZOG

The Dauphiné Libéré goes back to its roots in 2010 and will feature a summit finish at Alpe d’Huez for its 62nd edition.

ASO officials revealed the route Friday in its first edition as new owners of the heralded French race that is looking to regain some of its luster as the premier preparation race ahead of the Tour de France each summer.

ASO — which also owns the Tour — took over the troubled race last fall and is doing its best to re-spark interest in the race. Alpe d’Huez and a challenging final-day circuit in Sallanches will certainly help.

“We want to perpetuate this great event which is part of cycling history,” said Tour director Christian Prudhomme during a presentation Friday. “It’s part of a line that goes straight to the Tour de France.”

The race will start June 6 with an individual time trial in Evian-les-Bains and conclude in Sallanches on June 13, on what is the 30th anniversary of the world championships won by Bernard Hinault.

In between, there are some long stages ideal for sprinters in the Rhone Valley, a long and challenging 49km individual time trial in Vaucluse before heading into the French Alps for some serious climbs.

There will be a summit finish at Risoul at 1,870 meters of altitude in stage 4 and then the Chamrousse climb en route to Grenoble the next day. That sets up the “queen stage” in stage 6, culminating with a summit finish up the 21 switchbacks at Alpe d’Huez.

Alberto Contador (Astana) has already targeted the Dauphiné as his final Tour preparation. In total, there will be 19 teams lining up for the race.

2010 Dauphiné Libéré

June 6 – prologue: Evian-les-Bains, 6.8km ITT

June 7 – stage 1: Evian-les-Bains to Saint-Laurent-du-Point, 191km

June 8 – stage 2: Annonay to Bourg-Sain-Andéol, 177km

June 9 – stage 3: Monteux to Sorgues, 49km ITT

June 10 – stage 4: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Risoul, 211.5km

June 11 – stage 5: Serre-Chevalier to Grenoble, 143.5km

June 12 – stage 6: Crolles to Alpe d’Huez, 151.5km

June 13 – stage 7: Allevard-les-Bains to Sallanches

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