Porte predicts ‘fierce competition’ for Team Sky in Critérium du Dauphiné
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Sunday, June 02, 2013

Porte predicts ‘fierce competition’ for Team Sky in Critérium du Dauphiné

by VeloNation Press at 8:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
Australian believes British squad won’t have it as easy as last year

Richie PorteHis team-mate Chris Froome may be regarded as the clear favourite for the Critérium du Dauphiné but Richie Porte is clear that he believes that the race will be no formality for the Sky team.

“I expect a fierce competition from climbers like Alberto [Contador] and [Joaquim] Rodriguez,” he said, emphasising that there are others who must be watched. “‘Froomey’ is in good condition and it’s all for him from our side. However, the priority is to get in the best shape when we’ll line up for the Tour in Corsica in about a month from now.”

Froome has slotted into the space filled by his team-mate Bradley Wiggins last year, taking several stage race victories in the buildup to the Dauphiné and thus marking himself out as a big favourite for the Tour. He was confirmed this week as the sole leader for the latter race, with Wiggins deciding not to take part, and is using the Dauphiné to fine tune his form prior to the Grand Tour.

Froome has won the Tour of Oman, Critérium International and Tour de Romandie this year. Porte has also been going well, winning Paris-Nice and finishing second behind Froome in the Critérium International. He too is someone who is regarded as a strong contender for the Dauphiné and is satisfied with his shape heading into the race.

“Since the Tour de Romandie I’ve taken some time off, recovered from sickness and had a solid block of training in Tenerife,” he said. “I think I’m in good form now but the Dauphiné is kind of the ultimate test before the Tour de France.

“It was the case as well last year and as a team we got the best indications we hoped for [when Wiggins won ahead of Michael Rogers, with Froome fourth and Porte ninth]. But I don’t believe the race will be a similar one this year. The course is different with less time trialling and the field is different too.”

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