This article first appeared on Cyclingnews.
The Criterium du Dauphine continues to be a final opportunity for GC specialists to hone their form before heading to the Tour de France a few weeks later, with most editions sharing or even replicating some of the Grand Tour's Alpine stages.As well as testing the legs, riders and teams also have a final race opportunity to test the latest and frequently unreleased components and bikes before taking them to the biggest stage in cycling.
The 2017 edition of the race saw the Specialized Tarmac SL6 and updated Trek Emonda SL for the first time. At this year's race, the same two manufacturers had new and unreleased S-Works Venge and Trek Madone Disc bikes.
Alongside the new bikes, Scott also unveiled custom-finished Foil Disc framesets for Daryl Impey and Alex Edmondson, who are the national road race champions for South Africa and Australia, respectively.
The two southern hemisphere countries compete their national championships at the start of the calendar year during their summer, so the Mitchelton-Scott duo will be enjoying their custom framesets for another seven months.
European and North American nations on the other hand generally compete their national championships during the final weekend in June and so the Dauphine also offers the last chance for riders to wear their national jerseys alongside custom shoes, helmets and accessories before the titles are up for grabs in a few weeks' time.
The Criterium du Dauphine 2018 began with a short time trial prologue in Valence and also featured a team time trial on stage 3 of the race. The Tour de France next month also has a team time trial and some of the main contenders, including Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), used it as an opportunity to dial his position aboard the time trial-specific Factor Slick race bike. You can see all of the time trial tech on display here.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a look at all that was on display at the 2018 Criterium du Dauphine.