The Criterium du Dauphine gets underway on Sunday, June 5th, and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will start this 8 stage UCI World Tour event with a strong and motivated team.
The Criterium du Dauphine, as one may know already, is used as the final dress rehearsal for the Tour de France. As the Dauphine takes in many of the same roads and has much of the same organisational structures as the Tour, it attracts the majority of the peloton which will start the Grande Boucle just 4 weeks later.
The timing of the event also makes it the perfect race to complete your final Tour preparation. Daniel Teklehaimanot proved this when he won the King of the Mountains jersey at the Dauphine last year and then went on to wear the Polka Dot jersey at the Tour de France a few weeks later as well. This year, Teklehaimanot returns to the Dauphine as do a number of our 2015 Tour de France stars.
Steve Cummings, Serge Pauwels and Edvald Boasson Hagen will all line-up for the start in Les-Gets on Sunday. Youcef Reguigui, Nathan Haas, Omar Fraile and Igor Anton will complete our team that competes in this French World Tour event. As it will certainly be a high quality field, another extremely tough race is expected particularly when you factor in the Dauphine route this year.
Starting with a mountain climb prologue we then have 5 medium mountain stages (stages 1,2,3,4 & 7) and 2 big mountain stages (stage 5 & 6), both of which are summit finishes. With the team of climbers and punchy riders we have assembled for the Dauphine, stage wins will be the priority for our African Team.
Serge Pauwels - Rider
The Dauphine is the last big preparation race for the Tour de France. However, it is already a beautiful race by itself with lots of climbing, especially this year. I want to use the race to dig deep for the Tour but there are some stages in this Dauphine that suit my capabilities, so I will try to obtain a good result on these stages. We have riders that can do well on each stage, so our team will be strong.