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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
Third overall in last year’s race and then ninth at the Tour de France, Dan Martin is returning to the Critérium du Dauphiné at the head of the Quick Step Floors team. “If you look over the course, it’s pretty obvious we have the same ingredients as in the past: some hard stages in the opening portion of the week, then a challenging time trial, which even though isn’t long will lay down the ground for attacks in the mountains,” said the team’s directeur sportif Brian Holm.
“I don’t think there will be a moment of respite in the race, so we have to stay attentive all the time. Our team is built around Dan, whom we’ll protect and help get another strong and morale-boosting result ahead of next month’s Tour de France.”
Martin has had a strong season, with his results including third overall in Paris-Nice, sixth in the Volta a Catalunya and second in both Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He will head to the Tour determined to step things up on last year’s performance; indeed, he could have been in the top six overall had he timed his attacks differently. On several stages his early surges were hauled back and he conceded time.
He will be backed by Eros Capecchi, Tim Declercq, Enric Mas, Maximiliano Richeze, Petr Vakoc, Martin Velits and Julien Vermote.