Team Saxo Tinkoff underlines importance of Critérium du Dauphiné for Contador
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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Team Saxo Tinkoff underlines importance of Critérium du Dauphiné for Contador

by VeloNation Press at 12:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
‘Top results in overall standings’ stated objective for Danish squad

Alberto ContadorOut of competition for a considerable length of time, Alberto Contador is looking for a strong showing in his first race back, the Critérium du Dauphiné. His Saxo Tinkoff team has made clear that the race is a big target, with a strong overall performance being a stated goal in the event.

“We will be supporting Alberto all the way and we're targeting a top result in the overall standings,” directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit has said, laying out the objectives. “Several of our riders have not raced now for a while so it is also a chance for us to refine the shape and to let the Tour riders have the opportunity of getting to know each other a bit better before it goes on in Corsica in a month's time.”

Contador last competed at the Ardennes Classics, where he had a somewhat muted campaign. Thirty third in Flèche Wallonne and 57th in Liège-Bastogne-Liège were below his expectations, and reflected fatigue after a heavy spring which yielded top four finishes in the Tour de San Luis, Tour of Oman plus Tirreno-Adriatico.

The Spaniard has clocked up just one win thus far this season, a stage in San Luis. That’s less than he would have expected and consequently he would like to have a strong Dauphiné campaign against Chris Froome and his other rivals.

While some of his likely team-mates for the Tour de France will do the Tour de Suisse instead of the Critérium du Dauphiné, including Amstel Gold Race winner Roman Kreuziger and Nicolas Roche, Contador still has a strong team behind him, as Mauduit explains.

“Timmy (Duggan), Nicki (Sørensen) and Benji (Noval) are the ones to protect Alberto on the flat and windy sections,” he said, “while Chris Anker, Jesus (Hernandez), Michael (Rogers) and Sergio (Paulinho) are expected to support him on the climbs.”

The WorldTour race begins tomorrow with a mountain stage in Switzerland. Although though tougher stages will follow later in the race, that opening leg will immediately show which riders are in form.

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