Crit̩rium du Dauphin̩ РFroome heads line-up


Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali in pre Tour battle in the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné

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Crit̩rium du Dauphin̩ РFroome heads line-up


The peloton is ready to fire the opening salvoes of the summer hostilities at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Chris Froome will try and see off the pretenders to his Alpine crown before he sets his sights on the Tour de France. Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali will have ample opportunity from June 8 to 15 to usurp his place on the throne.


Calculations are child’s play for Chris Froome, whether it is about determining just how much to put into an attack in the mountains or plotting his physical build-up with painstaking accuracy. The week-long Dauphiné will be the first acid test for the plan with which he hopes to defend his Tour de France title at the end of July.

Although the Brit’s performances so far show he has a legitimate shot at a double, the Team Sky leader has not made such a strong impression on opponents and pundits as last year. 2014 has been a mixed bag for Froomey so far, with wins in Oman and Romandie on one hand and a series of physical setbacks on the other, while trusted lieutenant Richie Porte has also had to visit his doctors a few times too many.

The hero of the 2013 season has assembled a crack team of climbers to help him stamp his authority on the Alpine roads, including Richie Porte as well as David López, Mikel Nieve and Xabier Zandio. With Alberto Contador on rising form and eager to finally add his name to the Dauphiné honour roll, and Vincenzo Nibali pulling out all the stops to surprise Froome this season, the Brit will have good use for his teammates.

The summit finish on Courchevel, where the 66th edition will come to a close, will provide a great opportunity to take the fight to the Tour favourite. A step below, Tejay van Garderen, MichaÅ‚ Kwiatkowski, Andrew Talansky and France’s Romain Bardet, Jean-Christophe Péraud and Sylvain Chavanel will also be there to figure out where they stand.

Also look for Adam Yates to take some scalps as the neo pro continues to climb his way up the ladder in the pro ranks.

21 teams: main contenders
Orica-GreenEDGE: Gerrans (AUS) and A. Yates (GBR)
lotto-Belisol: Gallopin (FRA) and Van den Broeck (BEL)
Omega Pharma-Quick Step: Bakelants, Meersman (BEL) and Kwiatkowski (POL)
Ag2r-La Mondiale: Bardet and Péraud (FRA)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Coppel, Simon (FRA), Navarro (ESP) and Taaramäe (EST) : Démare, Élissonde and Vichot (FRA)
Team Europcar: Voeckler, Gautier and Cousin (FRA)
Team Netapp-Endura: Bárta (CZE) and Matzka (GER)
Sky ProCycling: Froome, Thomas (GBR) and Porte (AUS)
Cannondale: De Marchi and Caruso (ITA)
Lampre-Merida: Cunego (ITA) and Niemiec (POL)
Astana Pro Team: Nibali (ITA), Fuglsang (DEN) and Westra (NED)
Belkin Pro Cycling Team: Hivert (FRA), Kelderman (NED) and Nordhaug (NOR)
Team Giant-Shimano: Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) and Hupond (FRA)
Team Katusha: Å pilak (SLO)
Tinkoff-Saxo: Contador (ESP) and N. Sørensen (DEN)
Movistar Team: Anton (ESP), Gadret (FRA) and Szmyd (POL)
IAM Cycling: S. Chavanel (FRA) and Denifl (AUT)
BMC Racing Team: Van Garderen (USA) and Atapuma (COL)
Garmin-Sharp: Talansky (USA), Hesjedal (CAN) and Millar (GBR)
Trek Factory Team: Jungels (LUX), Voigt (GER) and Zubeldia (ESP)

Ø Sunday, June 8, stage 1: Lyon – Lyon, 10 km (individual time trial)
Ø Monday, June 9, stage 2: Tarare – Pays d’Olliergues-Col du Béal, 158.5 km
Ø Tuesday, June 10, stage 3: Ambert – Le Teil, 194 km
Ø Wednesday, June 11, stage 4: Montélimar – Gap, 169.5 km
Ø Thursday, June 12, stage 5: Sisteron – La Mure, 184 km
Ø Friday, June 13, stage 6: Grenoble – Poisy, 168 km
Ø Saturday, June 14, stage 7: Ville-la-Grand – Finaut-Émosson (Switzerland), 161.5 km
Ø Sunday, June 15, stage 8: Megève – Courchevel, 130.5 km



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