Dauphine ‘good gauge’ of form heading into Tour

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I’m going to keep going – Froome

Chris Froome says next week’s Criterium du Dauphine will be a “good gauge” of his form before he attempts to win a record-equalling fifth Tour de France.

Three of the 34-year-old’s four Tour wins have come after winning the week-long Dauphine, which starts on 9 June.

Team-mate and fellow Briton Geraint Thomas won the 2018 Tour, having also won the Dauphine the month before.

“There’s a bit of everything there, I think it’s a pretty good, well balanced route,” said Team Ineos rider Froome.

“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.”

Froome has had an inauspicious start to the year having finished 97th in the Tour Colombia in February, before withdrawing from the UAE Tour so that he could recover.

He had already said he would not defend his Giro d’Italia title in May in order to focus on the Tour de France, when he aims to become just the fifth man to win the race five times.

The six-time Grand Tour winner recently completed a second training stint in Tenerife in readiness for his fifth race of the year, which takes place in France and Switzerland from 9 to 16 June.

“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.

“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. The Tour group as a whole is moving forward and looking really good and ready for the next couple of months ahead.

“Hopefully I’ll be a lot fresher now coming into this next block and more ready to race (than in 2018), as opposed to being on the back foot trying to recover from the Giro.”

Team Ineos are sending Vasil Kiryienka, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Ian Stannard and Dylan van Baarle to support Froome at the Dauphine.

This year’s Tour de France starts in Brussels on Saturday, 6 July and finishes in Paris on Sunday, 28 July.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48539861

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