Team Bahrain Victorious to Dauphiné

With the Tour de France less than a month away, the 74th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné – traditionally a key part of riders’ preparation for ‘La Grand Boucle’ – starts on Sunday, June 5th. Team Bahrain Victorious will take to the start line with a strong line-up riding in support of leader Jack Haig, who finished 5th last year.

Also looking to perform well on GC will be Damiano Caruso, who had a top 5 at the race himself, in 2018, and has had an impressive 2022 already.

Neil Stephens, lead Sports Director, is hoping the team can continue the good form shown in recent months:

After a really successful Giro, we’re hoping to continue the same line of performance at the Dauphiné. A lot of guys are coming back from a period of preparation doing altitude and specific training.

With Jack Haig the GC leader going really well, and Damiano Caruso the same, they’ll be supported by the rest of the team, and the guys are all looking forward to the challenge”

The race starts with 3 hilly stages, the last of which ends with an uphill finish on a 6.2km category 2 climb from Chastreix to Sancy averaging 5.6%, and could provide an opportunity for the GC favourites to show their strength for the first time.

Wednesday sees a flat, technical & demanding 39.1km time trial. Stage victory should go to a specialist, but the overall contenders will be trying to gain whatever advantage they can over their rivals.

“It’s a good mixture of flatter stages and lumpy stages,” says Stephens. “There’s a flatter time trial which will be very technical and demanding, before a really hard solid weekend which should decide the GC”.

Joining Haig and Caruso are Kamil Gradek, riding his first Dauphiné, and Heinrich Haussler, who won a stage back in 2007. More experience comes in the form of Luis Leon Sanchez, and another previous stage winner at the race, Dylan Teuns, winner of this year’s La Flèche Wallone.

The final two days will provide a real test of the climbers, with 3 “hors category” and 2 cat 1 climbs, including Tour de France regulars the Col du Galibier, Col de la Croix de Fer, and Col de la Colombière.

As well as ambitions in the overall, TBV have another card to play in fast man Phil Bauhaus. The German won the last stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, and just missed out on a stage victory at the Giro. Stephens concludes:

“Phil’s a little bit tired after the Giro, but he’s looking to get a win out of the way. It’s a race that gets us back into racing after a long period of preparation. We’re looking for at least one stage win with Phil Bauhaus and a top result in GC with either Jack or Damiano”.



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