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by Shane Stokes
June 3, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Avermaet wins stage two of Skoda Tour of Luxembourg, Drucker holds race lead; Resurgent Betancur ensures Movistar comes out best on day one of Hammer Series Limburg; Prologue winner Le Bon takes stage one of the Boucles de la Mayenne; Despite quiet season, Froome confident ahead of Dauphiné; Former race winner Talansky spearheads Cannondale-Drapac in Critérium du Dauphiné; Martin the designated leader of Quick Step Floors team at the Critérium du Dauphiné; Cannondale-Drapac team plays down talk title sponsor is leaving; Laws speaks about living, and riding, with cancer; Critérium du Dauphiné set to race Alpe d’Huez from a new direction; Blythe says he was forced to apologise to dangerous driver; Ultracycling legend Mike Hall’s ashes being transported on poignant final journey; Lucy Kennedy awarded twelfth Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship; Wanda Sport’s Ironman further expands cycling involvement with purchase of Competitor Group Holdings; Video: JLT Condor Pro Cycling Team; Video: onboard graphics from the Hammer Series
He hasn’t raced much this year and has had some relatively low-key results, yet Chris Froome sounds upbeat as he heads back to the Critérium du Dauphiné. The Team Sky rider is vying for two distinctions: becoming the first rider to win the event four times, and also the first to win it three years in a row.
“This time of the year it always feels like it’s really getting towards the business part of my season,” he said. “I’m coming off the back of two great blocks of training with the guys up in Tenerife, which has got me in great shape and ready for the challenges ahead.
“I’m happy with where my form is right now. Everything is looking good and I’m looking forward to putting all the training into practice. I’m looking forward to going back and riding in France. There’s always a real buzz about racing there at this time of the season and a sense of excitement building about the Tour.”
Froome has competed in just four UCI races this year. He was 49th in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean road race, then finished sixth overall in the Herald Sun Tour. He was second on a stage and 30th overall in the Volta a Catalunya and went on to fifth on a stage and 18th on GC in the Tour de Romandie.
He will be backed by Philip Deignan, Peter Kennaugh, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, David Lopez, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard in the French event. “I think the line-up of riders at the Dauphine is particularly impressive this year in terms of GC contenders and other Tour rivals, so it should be a big test and a real challenge.
“I’m going there hoping to win, but I’m fully conscious that I’m going up against some very strong competition – probably stronger competition than I’ve had at previous editions of the Dauphine – so I’m certainly not taking anything for granted.”