Chris Froome says he is hoping to be “fighting for the overall win” at this year’s Criterium du Dauphine. The 71st edition of the road cycling stage race gets underway in France on Sunday with a medium mountain stage from Aurillac to Jussac before the eighth and final stage from Cluses to Champery wraps things up on June 16.
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Froome will be gunning for a record-equalling fifth Tour de France next month and is hoping a solid performance in the Criterium du Dauphine will stand him in good stead for the Grand Depart in Brussels on July 6. Three of the 34-year-old’s four Tour wins have come after winning the week–long Dauphine and he believes his performance over the eight stages will give him a good indication on where he is at physically.
“There’s a bit of everything there, I think it’s a pretty good, well-balanced route,” he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “There are a few lumpy days, a time trial and then some big mountain days. “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.” Team Ineos rider Froome will have Vasil Kiryienka, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Ian Stannard and Dylan van Baarle to support him at the Dauphine.