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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, June 7, 2019

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people. - Orson Welles

Tour of Flanders, the Inside Story

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Critérium du Dauphiné team updates

Team INEOS sent me this:

Chris Froome is ready to gauge his form at the upcoming Criterium du Dauphine as he continues to build towards July.

The six-time Grand Tour winner recently completed a second training stint in Tenerife and has pronounced himself happy with his form ahead of his fifth race outing of the year.

With three victories at the Dauphine already on his palmares, Froome has often used the prestigious event as a final build-up race to the Tour de France. He will be supported at the Dauphine by Vasil Kiryienka, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Ian Stannard and Dylan van Baarle.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome last won the Dauphiné in 2016. Sirotti photo

Speaking after returning from Tenerife, Froome told “This approach and build-up to July is something we’ve tried and tested quite a few times over the years now. Our camp went really well, and as always at the second camp in Tenerife I start to feel a lot more ready for racing. Now I’m looking forward to pinning on some numbers at the Dauphine.

“It’s hard to say where I’m going to be, given I haven’t done much racing recently, but I’d like to be there fighting for the overall win at the Dauphine. The Tour group as a whole is moving forward and looking really good and ready for the next couple of months ahead. So hopefully we’ll have a really strong outing at the Dauphine as well.

“I think it’s a pretty good, well balanced route. There are a few lumpy days, a time trial and then some big mountain days. We’ll definitely get a good gauge of where we’re at after doing this Dauphine as there’s a bit of everything there.”

For Froome and fellow Dauphine team members Kwiatkowski, Poels and Van Baarle, time spent in Tenerife enabled them to put in those crucial kilometres and hone form.

“I’m really happy with where I’m at currently,” Froome added. “I was probably a bit eager earlier this season in Colombia and probably did a little bit too much. I feel like this camp has been very different to that and I’ve been able to do exactly what I need to do. The feelings are quite different now having come back from Tenerife, if I compare them to how I felt when I got back from Colombia.”

Froome’s Tour build-up is markedly different to a 2018 season which saw him battling hard across three weeks at the Giro d’Italia – eventually emerging successful.

On reverting back to a more traditional Tour run-in this year he admitted: “It was quite nice in a way watching the Giro on the TV and actually not racing. Also remembering my feelings coming out of the Giro last year – it’s so different to how I feel right now. Hopefully I’ll be a lot fresher now coming into this next block and more ready to race, as opposed to being on the back foot trying to recover from the Giro.”

Froome also reserved praise for young Team INEOS team-mate Pavel Sivakov after watching him ride to a superb ninth place in Italy.

“Pavel was very, very impressive. For a 21-year old to have ridden a top 10 in just his second Grand Tour – that takes some doing and it goes a long way to showing what kind of engine he has for the future.”

Team INEOS lineup for the Criterium du Dauphine: Chris Froome, Vasil Kiryienka, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Ian Stannard, Dylan van Baarle.

Here's CCC Team's Dauphiné preview:

CCC Team is heading to the Critérium du Dauphiné with a well-balanced and ambitious team, which is hungry for a stage win.

The eight-day Critérium du Dauphiné features a difficult route, with multiple undulating and hilly stages, a 26.1-kilometer individual time trial on the fourth day of racing, and a mountain top finish to Les Sept Laux on the penultimate stage.

CCC Team will line up at the start without one clear leader for the General Classification and will focus on stage success, Sports Director, Jackson Stewart explains.

“We are going to Critérium du Dauphiné with a motivated group of riders. We are aware that the race will be very competitive, with the difficult terrain and the quality line-up which includes many riders who look towards July and the Tour de France, but we will look for every opportunity that presents itself to contest for a stage win. We won’t have a pure leader for the GC but, Riccardo Zoidl is capable of doing well in the mountains and he will try to do his best against the top pre-race favorites,” Stewart said.

Aleesandro De MArchi

Alessandro De Marchi (shown winning the 2018 Giro d'Emilia) will be on the start line for the Dauphiné. Sirotti photo

Alessandro De Marchi is returning to racing after the Tour of Yorkshire and will use Critérium du Dauphiné to build up his form for the Tour de France.

“Critérium du Dauphiné is one of my favorite races in the calendar and I have some good memories from the previous editions as I won a stage there in 2013. It will be my first race after the recovery period so, we will see how the legs are and how they will adapt to a race rhythm. I will approach it as it’s the last step in my preparation for the Tour de France so, this means that I'll try to use every stage to improve my shape and enhance my confidence. It's a very demanding race so, I'll have plenty of opportunities every day to do that,” De Marchi explained.

Critérium du Dauphiné (9 - 16 June)

Rider roster: Paweł Bernas (POL), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jonas Koch (GER), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Joseph Rosskopf (USA), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Riccardo Zoidl (AUT).

Sports Directors: Jackson Stewart (USA), Gabriele Missaglia (ITA)

UAE-Team Emirates sent me this Dauphiné news:

UAE Team Emirates will compete in the Critérium du Dauphiné from June 9 to 16 with Daniel Martin as its leader.

Dan MArtin

Dan Martin will ride the Dauphiné. Sirotti photo

The race is considered a dress rehearsal ahead of the Tour de France. Neil Stephens (Aus) and Marco Marzano (Ita) will direct the following seven cyclists:
– Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
– Daniel Martin (Irl)
– Cristian Muñoz (Col)
– Simone Petilli (Ita)
– Edward Ravasi (Ita)
– Rory Sutherland (Aus)
– Oliviero Troia (Ita)

The route of the French World Tour race varies. It includes two hilly stages, two stages suitable for sprinters, an individual time trial of 26.1km and the final two days in the high mountains finishing up to Pipay and Champéry.

Martin said: “Dauphiné is a race I always enjoy. Racing on the French roads against a high level competition is the perfect preparation for the Tour de France.
Training has gone well and I feel good although I’m not sure on my expectations having not races since Liege-Bastogne-Liege, so it is always an unknown how the first race back will go. The aim is to get a good weeks racing in the legs and to continue biulding towards July.

"I’ve performed well in the last few years at the race, so I am just aiming to enjoy the race and hope the legs are there to be aggressive at some point in the week”.

Dani Martínez out of Tour de France after training crash in Colombia

Martínez's EF Education First team sent me this bad news:

Colombian climber Dani Martínez will miss out on the Tour de France next month as he recovers from injuries sustained while training in Colombia on Monday. The 21-year-old had been riding downhill during the recovery time between training intervals when an oil stain took out his wheels. He crashed, landing on his hands.

“Dani’s crash unfortunately resulted in broken bones in both hands,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling head of medical Kevin Sprouse. “He underwent surgery to repair the fractures. The surgery and subsequent healing will require that he miss the Tour de France this year.”

“I have about two months of recovery in front of me,” said Martínez. “My hands hurt a lot, and I cannot do anything without help. I’m very sad to miss the Tour de France. I’ve trained a lot for that. But this is just the way cycling is.” 

Martínez made his Tour de France debut during his maiden season in argyle. A super-domestique for compatriot and Tour de France general contender Rigoberto Urán, Martínez instinctually handed over his bike to Urán following a late race crash on stage four of the 2018 Tour to keep Urán’s general classification ambitions alive. 

Dani Martinez

Dani Martínez having a good day at stage 7 of this year's Paris-Nice. Sirotti photo

The roles were reversed at the 2019 Tour of Colombia where Urán, recovering from illness, raced at the service of Martínez, who finished in third overall on home roads. That was Martínez claimed the Colombian time trial title, before he won the queen stage of Paris-Nice.

Martínez last raced at Tour de Romandie in early May. He was home in Colombia, training regularly with Urán, and since Tour of California, with Tejay van Garderen, in preparation for July. 

“Certainly, we’ll miss Dani at the Tour as he was a key part of our plans, but the Tour is full of surprises, and we just got one a little early,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters.

Following surgery on Wednesday, Martínez’s recovery will be closely monitored by the team’s medical staff. “Dani’s health and successful recovery are the priority,” said Sprouse. “The timing of future races will only be determined as his healing process unfolds.” 

“There are other races I will need to think about now that I cannot race the Tour,” said Martínez. “I want to recover well for the new goals.”

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