As the Dauphiné Libéré is a UCI ProTour event, the 18 ProTour teams are invited automatically. They were joined by BMC Racing Team, a Professional Continental team, to form the event's 19-team peloton.
The course for the opening individual time trial was mostly flat, with the category four Côte du Haut-du-Lièvre coming after 3 km. Three of the favourites for the final classification took the podium places, benefiting from improving weather after Iván Gutiérrez had held the lead for nearly an hour.
This was the longest stage of the 2009 Dauphiné, and its profile is mostly flat. It saw very gentle undulation until the fairly steep descent from the category four Côte de Montcharvot, 100 km from the finish. There was one other fourth-category climb on the stage. A group of five riders held an advantage over the peloton that reached more than six minutes, but they were caught in the last ten km. David Millar attempted a late escape, but he was overhauled by the sprinters, including stage winner Angelo Furlan.
This was another largely flat stage, with four small category four climbs, including a relatively steep (though short) one about 40 km from the finish. A group of five riders escaped after 34 km, and were able to stay more than a minute and a half clear of the main group to the finish. Niki Terpstra won in a sprint finish over his fellow escapees, and took the yellow leader's jersey from Cadel Evans.
The second individual time trial is very similar to the first in profile, featuring only a single fourth-category climb.Bert Grabsch, the current time trial world champion, won the stage. Cadel Evans won the yellow jersey back beating last stage's yellow jersey winner Niki Terpstra, who fell and finished on a replacement bike, by over 5 minutes.
The first of the 2009 Dauphiné's four straight mountain stages sees the peloton ascend to the peak colloquially known as "Mount Baldy", some six weeks before the mountain hosts a critical stage finish in the 2009 Tour de France. There are three fourth-category climbs and a third-category climb on course, while the finish itself to Mont Ventoux is an Hors Categorie, or outside categorization climb.Sylwester Szmyd and Alejandro Valverde managed to break away on the ascent of Mount Ventoux, and worked to gain over a minute lead to Haimar Zubeldia. Szmyd took the stage win, while Valverde took the yellow jersey from Cadel Evans, who finished just over 2 minutes behind. After the stage, Ivan Basso dropped out.
This is the queen stage of the 2009 Dauphiné Libéré, with two outside categorization climbs on course and a first-category climb to the finish in Saint-François-Longchamp. The first of those outside categorization climbs is the Col du Galibier, which at 2556 m is the highest point of the 2009 Dauphiné.
This is branded as a mountain stage, but it is significantly less imposing than the previous three stages. There are two third-category climbs within the first 57 km of the stage, along with the first-category Montée de Saint-Bernard-du-Touvet coming 27 km from the finish. After a rapid descent from that climb, there is a stretch of 12 km to the finish that is mostly flat.