Van den Broeck deliberately holding back on form for Critérium du Dauphiné
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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Van den Broeck deliberately holding back on form for Critérium du Dauphiné

by Shane Stokes at 9:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
Belgian says there’s a danger in hitting condition too soon before Tour de France

Jurgen van BroeckThree times a top five finisher in the past, Jurgen Van den Broeck appears willing to forgo a high overall placing in this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné if necessary, reasoning that it is too difficult to maintain high form through June and July.

Although Bradley Wiggins did that last year, Van den Broeck prefers to hit a higher peak for the Tour rather than trying to prolong his form over several weeks. As a result he says that he has held back somewhat in his buildup to the upcoming race.

“We tried this year to be a little less in shape,” he told Gazet van Antwerpen. "The main focus of the Tour is in the third week. Those who are already in top condition will struggle to keep it.

“The Dauphiné will serves to find out where we fall short and where we need to make adjustments.”

The Lotto Belisol rider was fourth overall in 2010 and 2011, then fifth last year. He was then fourth in the 2010 and 2012 Tours de France, but wants to aim higher this time round. As a result, he’s less focussed on the general classification of the Dauphiné.

However he’d still like a morale booster. “That's not to say that I will pass over a good result. A stage win such as two years ago is a boost for the confidence. I will be satisfied if I can help make the race. A good result would be a plus.”

Peculiarly, the team’s directeur sportif Herman Frison seems to see things differently; in his mind, a strong GC result is desirable.

“This is a test for the Tour and of course that gives pressure. Jurgen then always asks himself the question: ‘Am I good enough?’ Every year he’s waiting to see how he will perform. I have a good feeling about it.

“The goal is to ride a nice classification in the Dauphiné. We won’t mention a specific place, but he has to end in the top ten. The higher, the better of course. The Tour is the main goal, but everything you can pick up, you should take. So if he could win a stage, that would be wonderful.”

The 30 year old rider will be competing alongside Bart De Clercq and Jelle Vanendert, who can also chase good results themselves. That takes the pressure off the team leader.

“Jelle Vanendert and Bart de Clercq are the men that should be able to stay with Van den Broeck the longest,” says Frison. “In the Tour of Belgium Jelle made progression every day, he’s on schedule for the Tour. If there’s an opportunity Bart De Clercq or Jelle Vanendert can also try to win a stage.”

He will also be supported by Gaëtan Bille, Sander Cordeel, Jurgen Van de Walle, Dennis Vanendert and Tim Wellens.

The WorldTour race begins tomorrow in Switzerland, and is regarded as one of the toughest editions in years.

Critérium du Dauphiné 2013 (2.HC):

Sunday 2nd June, stage 1: Champéry-Champéry, 121 km
Monday 3rd June, stage 2: Châtel - Oyonnax, 183 km
Tuesday 4th June, stage 3: Ambérieu-en-Bugey - Tarare, 164 km
Wednesday 5th June, stage 4: Villars-les-Dombes – Parc des Oiseaux, 32.5 km (individual time-trial).
Thursday 6thJune, stage 5: Grésy-sur-Aix - Valmorel, 139 km
Friday 7th June, stage 6: La Léchère - Grenoble, 141.5 km
Saturday 8th June, stage 7: Le Pont-de-Claix - Superdévoluy, 184 km
Sunday 9th June, stage 8: Sisteron -Risoul, 152 km

Also see: Critérium du Dauphiné: Alpe d’Huez highlight of 2013 route, race to begin in Switzerland



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