NTT Pro Cycling has announced its team for the Critérium du Dauphiné for what’s expected to be an intriguing race in the final build-up to the Tour de France .
A shorter version of this event has been planned by the organisers this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and with the Tour de France on the horizon many teams will be using the race as a final opportunity to fine-tune ahead of the Tour.
NTT Pro Cycling’s selection sees a strong climbing group of Louis Meintjes, Domenico Pozzovivo, Ben O’Connor together with the multi-talented Roman Kreuziger all take up slots in the 7-man outfit.
With a number of the hillier stages looking to provide some action packed days, Edvald Boasson Hagen – who won the race’s opening time trial in 2019 – is joined by Michael Valgren and Michael Gogl. The latter recently rode to an excellent 9th place at Strade Bianche.
Valgren, Boasson Hagen and Kreuziger all featured in Milano-Sanremo at the weekend where they played crucial roles in assisting Giacomo Nizzolo to his excellent 5th-place finish
I’m really looking forward to the Dauphine, it’s going to be five hard days of racing. There will be some intense days with, I think, a number of opportunities for breakaways. Personally I hope that I can show the good form that’s been coming from our training camp, and the hard work that we’ve been doing for the last month or so now. We’re hopeful of some kind of result with this being the last big preparation for the Tour de France, so it should be a nice week coming up for the team.Michael Valgren
The race is different than in previous years where there was one sprint stage, one TT and five hilly stages. Now the race is just five days but very concentrated on the hilly stages, I would say that there’s no proper sprint day, mostly uphill finishes so it’s going to be very hard and tough with the heat and possibly thunderstorms in the Alps. We travel to some beautiful places and around where we finish the last two or three days there are a couple of nasty climbs, so it’s going to be very interesting. We have a good team but we saw at the other races that there are two really strong teams which are controlling the pace of the peloton for now, so we will have to race smart and try to make it into the breakaways to see if we can be successful.Roman Kreuziger
This is all about the Tour. It’s our final step in our preparations and we will be looking at, and focusing on, that. We will take it day by day and try to pick out a stage where we can go for a win. The main objective will be to get ourselves totally ready for the Tour de France.Gino van Oudenhove
For the full race profile you can visit the official site, here.