Tour de Romandie winner Richie Porte will return to the Critérium du Dauphiné from 4-11 June to race for the last time before the Tour de France.
Porte, who finished fourth overall in 2016, is looking to secure his third UCI WorldTour stage race win this year.
“The Critérium du Dauphiné is the last big test before the Tour de France so it is a chance to see where I stand compared to everyone else. I’m taking a lot of confidence out of my Tour de Romandie win and a good result at the Critérium du Dauphiné would set me up perfectly for July,” Porte explained.
“I’m coming into the race from a two-week altitude camp so I am as prepared as possible. I’m feeling really good right now and although the Tour de France is obviously the main goal this year, I would love to add the Critérium du Dauphiné to my palmarès. We have a strong team to support me and we’ll take things stage by stage.”
Sports Director Fabio Baldato said he believes Porte continues to get better with each race this season.
“In the lead up to the Tour de France, the Critérium du Dauphiné is one of the biggest goals for Richie Porte and the team. A good result at the Critérium du Dauphiné will prove that we are on track for the Tour de France, and also give Richie a lot of confidence. Richie is in great shape at the moment and I think he can definitely finish on the top step of the podium.” Baldato said.
“When you look at our roster, with the exception of neo pro Kilian Frankiny, we have a wealth of experience behind Richie. With Brent Bookwalter, Kilian Frankiny and Amaël Moinard we have strong riders to protect Richie on the flat, whereas Alessandro De Marchi, Ben Hermans, Nicolas Roche and Danilo Wyss will provide key support on the climbs. I think with this team, and a strong and motivated Richie, we are going to the Critérium du Dauphiné in a really good position.”
Critérium du Dauphiné (4-11 June)
Rider roster: Brent Bookwalter (USA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Kilian Frankiny (SUI), Ben Hermans (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Yvon Ledanois (FRA)