It’s that time of the year when the professional peloton starts looking toward the Tour de France which also means the dress rehearsal, more formally known as the Criterium du Dauphine, is now upon us. The World Tour Criterium du Dauphine gets underway on Sunday, and will end after 8 stages on 11 June.
The Criterium du Dauphine has been an event which our African Team has performed well at in recent years with Daniel Teklehaimanot having won the King of the Mountains jersey 2 years running. Edvald Boasson Hagen won the sprinters jersey last year, as well as stage 4 while Steve Cummings took the stage honours on stage 8 too.
This year it will be a slightly different look Dimension Data for Qhubeka lining up at the Criterium du Dauphine as Teklehaimanot and Cummings will not be at the start. Boasson Hagen though, he will headline our team over the coming week as he starts with his final preparation before the Tour de France. Boasson Hagen has shown his form is on the up with commanding performances at the recent Tour of Norway and Tour des Fjords.
Boasson Hagen will be joined Serge Pauwels, Scott Thwaites, Youcef Reguigui, Natnael Berhane, Jay Thomson, Adrien Niyonshuti and Ben O’Connor. With this strong stage hunting focused team, we will again look to target particular stages with different riders. The make-up of the route should suit our team well, with 4 undulating stages and a time trial in the first 5 days then finished off with 3 big climbing days.
Edvald Boasson Hagen – Rider
I am looking forward to the Dauphine again this year. I have done well at this race in the past and last year went well for our team in general. This year we start over though and it is a new race all together. I have been feeling good until now and I hope to build on my form through this week. There are some stages that could suit me at the Dauphine and I hope to be part of the final on those days. Everyone starts to come to their best level here so I think we will have a good and hard race.