News РCrit̩rium du Dauphin̩


“the Dauphiné is a key race for me ahead of the Tour de France” says Contador -  hot favorites of the Tour de France are all tuned for their Tour de France dress rehearsal at the Dauphiné

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News РCrit̩rium du Dauphin̩

A time trial to begin with and time bonus up for grab
The 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné features a 10.4km individual time trial in the streets of Lyon as the inaugural stage this Sunday. This is new in a race that was traditionally largely impacted by a fairly long race against the clock in the middle of week – often on Wednesday.

The route being pretty short, however longer than a prologue, the event promoters expect smaller gaps between the favorites and more riders to be able to target the final podium. “The 800-metres long climb in the middle of the course of the time trial will hurt the riders’ legs”, explained Gilles Maignan who is in charge of the route at the Dauphiné.

“The downhill is pretty technical for riders using specific time trial bikes. We’re hoping for the race to remain open after stage 1. With the same perspective in mind, we have reinstated time bonus (10, 6 and 4 seconds to the top three riders) on finishing lines – but not in the intermediate sprints. Therefore, climbers will have the opportunity to compensate the time possibly lost in Lyon from the super time triallists.”

Alberto Contador: “Winning isn’t an obsession”
Following what he calls the best early part of the season of his career, Alberto Contador spoke ahead of the Dauphiné from his hotel in Lyon. “I might say the same thing every year but the Dauphiné is a key race for me ahead of the Tour de France”, Contador said. “I’ve not competed for about two months, since the Tour of the Basque country but I’ve done a solid block of training at the Teide volcano”.

“However, I haven’t done intensities really. That’s to be done at the Dauphiné. It’s not a goal or an obsession for me to win this race. I want to conclude it with the satisfaction of a good performance and a good recovery. I want my body to be fine for the Tour. The confidence I could gain through this race is something relative.”

“Winning or not winning the Dauphiné wouldn’t change anything for me. Maybe it would be better to not win, as I’ve never done that before and it could generate some doubts. I believe the inaugural time trial is good for me. Stage 2 is hard and that’ll be the test for the pedaling style but the race should remain open until the second last day, which will be the real test for me.”

Van Garderen aims high at the Dauphiné
Beside the trio of hot favorites composed of Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali; Tejay van Garderen is the underdog of the Dauphiné starting in Lyon this Sunday with a 10.4km time trial on a distance that is very much his taste. After a very convincing early part of the season [second in the Tour of Oman, third in the Tour of Catalunya], the 25-year-old, through illness and injury, has raced less than previous years in the lead-up to the Tour de France as he was forced to withdraw from the Tour of Romandie via injury in the late April.

“Since then, I’ve trained well and I can simulate racing pretty well in training”, said the American from BMC Racing who embarked on Tour de France course reconnaissance last month. “My last completed, hard stage race was Pays Basque (sixth) in April, so it was a long time ago but I’m not going to go to the Dauphine with expectations to just win it easily or anything like that, especially considering the competition. We want to treat it as a dress rehearsal for the Tour de France. I’ll definitely be going for as high a GC place as possible and try to test my limits and the team, making sure we are all working well together.”


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