Chris Froome: "Everything is heading in the right direction for the Dauphiné"
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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Chris Froome: "Everything is heading in the right direction for the Dauphiné"

by Ben Atkins at 11:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
Kenyan-born Briton leads Team Sky in defence of Bradley Wiggins’ title

chris froomeTeam Sky has announced its eight-man line up for the Critérium du Dauphiné, which starts in the city of Champéry tomorrow. The British team has won the last two editions of the race through Bradley Wiggins, and will hope to do so again through Chris Froome, who is also looking to emulate his compatriot in the Tour de France next month.

“I’m feeling really good,” the Kenyan-born Briton said this week. “I came off a good block of training up in Tenerife with the guys and I’ve had about a week at home now. It’s been nice to sleep in my own bed for a little while.

“Having said that, I’m starting to feel ready, I feel like the form is definitely on its way up and everything is heading in the right direction for the Dauphiné.”

The eight-man roster is likely to be very similar to that chosen to support Froome in the Tour de France, with powerful rouleurs like Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and British champion Ian Stannard, along with top climbing domestiques David López, Vasil Kiryienka and Richie Porte.

“It could be seen as a mini Tour de France as all the contenders and most of the big names will be there,” said Froome. “Everyone should also be in pretty good shape this close out from the Tour. And to go with that we’ve also got a really tough route with some really challenging mountain-top finishes, as well as a time trial. It’s eight days of racing but it’s definitely going to be a good test for the Tour that’s for sure.”

Also included in the team is Edvald Boasson Hagen, who led the Sky team through the early kilometres of the mountain stages of last year’s Tour de France. How much freedom the Norwegian champion, and Paris-Nice winner Porte, will be given to ride for themselves remains to be seen.

Much of Froome’s build up his main summer targets has been concentrating on gaining the experience of leading a race, much as Wiggins did last year. To date Froome has won the Tour of Oman, finished second to eventual Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) in Tirreno-Adriatico, won the Critérium International, and emulated Wiggins with victory in the Tour de Romandie.

As well as winning the races, being the team’s undisputed leaders is something that he has been getting used to.

“I’ve been in that position a few times this year in addition to defending the leader’s jersey,” Froome said. “I think it’s gone really well and the feeling with my team-mates and the guys riding around me has been fantastic.

“We’ve got a really solid team – riders and staff – and everyone seems to be on track with their preparation. We’re where we need to be at the moment.”

With Wiggins being withdrawn from Sky’s Tour team yesterday, all eyes will be on Froome to see how he can fill his teammate’s shoes.

Sky Procycling team for the Critérium du Dauphiné
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Chris Froome, Peter Kennaugh, Vasil Kiryienka, David López, Richie Porte, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas.

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