Matt Lloyd to the Dauphiné with eyes on the Tour de France
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Matt Lloyd to the Dauphiné with eyes on the Tour de France

by Kyle Moore at 6:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
Former Giro d’Italia mountains boss trying to hit July healthy and in form

Matthew LloydWhile Matthew Lloyd has enjoyed his first season with Lampre-ISD, it has not been a particularly smooth year for the Australian. However the former Giro d’Italia stage winner is looking toward the Critérium du Dauphiné as a gauge of his form heading into the Tour de France.

The Grande Boucle is the primary objective on the horizon for Lloyd, who has his sights set securely on the months of June and July.

“I’m going to head off to the mountains next week and that will allow, I suppose, fifteen to sixteen days of good training at altitude before the Dauphiné,” Lloyd told Cycling Central. "I think [with the] course for the Dauphiné this year, if anyone is doing it and they haven’t done any training or racing in the mountains they’ll be paying because it’s not a very friendly course.”

Lloyd took his best result of the season in his first race of the season, the Australian road championships in early January, where he grabbed second behind Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge). Since then, Lloyd has had a number of racing days, but has crashed out of Paris-Nice and the Giro del Trentino. Though he was able to finish the Tour de Romandie, he was not able to be competitive.

“I was still racing in Romandie but it wasn’t to get results, it was sort of rolling around and very painful,” Lloyd continued. “I thought I might as well do some altitude training and therapy to get the injuries corrected. I was going to Romandie mainly as a test to see where the body was at pre-Giro. I noticed in Romandie after, or even during the first couple of stages, the ribs were not allowing me to get out of the saddle and stuff like that.”

Lloyd had hoped to compete in the Giro before Romandie, but as he was unable to get much going, he opted out and set goals for later in the summer. When it came time to decide on a program for the summer, Lloyd eyed the Critérium du Dauphiné.

“I put my hand up because it’s long and challenging,” he said of the popular Tour de France preview. “It’s not going to be so much of a slog-fest like Paris-Nice or Romandie was, where you’ve got Sky and some other teams that just rode in front until everyone else was gone, mainly because the characteristics of the race are very different and the climbs are a lot longer.”

Trying to dig out of a run of bad luck, the Aussie knows he just needs to roll with the punches, and targeting July instead of May could benefit both Lloyd and his Lampre-ISD squad.

“In a sense it fits in well this year,” Lloyd added in regards to the Tour. “I’m not unhappy about the situation mainly because there wasn’t anything I could do about it. This time around the body seems as though it’s comfortable. I haven’t crashed so badly that it has needed special attention, just time is the main thing.”

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