Israel – Premier Tech will line up for Critérium du Dauphiné with a motivated team, eager to challenge daily in the French WorldTour stage race.
With less than a month to the start of this year’s Tour de France, the eight challenging days of racing in Critérium du Dauphiné serve as the ideal place for the riders to test and fine-tune their shape.
However, this is not just a warm-up race for the Tour de France. Every day presents an opportunity to fight for glory and IPT sports director, Steve Bauer, assures that the team is ready to get in the mix.
“I’m excited for this year’s Dauphiné. This is always a fabulous stage race where all the WorldTour teams test their best riders heading to the Tour de France”, Bauer explains. “After a very tough spring campaign for us, our team is now in good shape and we are definitely looking forward to a competitive race. We know our work is cut out for us, as some of the top teams will bring their A-squads for the Tour de France here, but I’m sure that our guys are ready for the challenge.”
Leading the IPT team are Simon Clarke and Chris Froome. Clarke is fresh off a fourth place in Giro dell’Appennino, while Froome has won Criterium du Dauphiné overall on three previous occasions, taking six stage wins in the process. After showing good signs in Mercan’Tour Classic, finishing in 11th place after helping teammate Jakob Fuglsang to win, Froome says he’s eager to carry that momentum forward.
“It’s great to be back at the Critérium du Dauphiné”, Froome tells. “I have some great memories from this race – with six stage wins and overall victories in ‘13, ‘15 & ‘16. Unfortunately, I’ve also had my fair share of bad ones with my big crash in 2019 and I’m hoping to finally put that behind me this year.”
“I’ve seen some big progressions in my form over the last two months, and I hope to continue to build on it to put myself in the best possible position for July. I had a good ride earlier this week at the Mercan’Tour Classic, and I look forward to carrying that momentum forward into the Dauphiné.”
Bauer explains that the main focus in the race for Israel – Premier Tech will be on chasing stage wins.
“Simon has been one of our top performers this year and he’ll have some stages marked that suit him. Chris is now feeling much better after his long come back. His fitness is good and we are excited to see Chris racing much better. All in all, we have solid group of riders here and we will challenge daily to see if we can get a stage win, which will be our primary goal for the race.”
Critérium du Dauphiné (June 5-12)
Lineup: Simon Clarke (AUS), Chris Froome (GBR), Omer Goldstein (ISR), Taj Jones (AUS), Guy Niv (ISR), James Piccoli (CAN), Guy Sagiv (ISR).
Sports directors: Steve Bauer, Dror Petakch, René Andrle.