Chris Froome bids for a record-equalling third Criterium du Dauphine success next week as Team Sky’s leader ups the preparations for his Tour de France defence.
Froome will roll out in dossard number one, having won last year’s edition courtesy of back-to-back stage wins on the final weekend, as part of a typically stellar line-up set for the race.
Likely Tour de France rivals Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Froome’s former right-hand man Richie Porte (BMC Racing) are also due on the startline, alongside French stars Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and in-form Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).
Though Froome’s team-mate Geraint Thomas will be at the Tour de Suisse instead, racing against BMC Racing’s other team leader Tejay van Garderen, and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is heading to the Route du Sud, the Dauphine will give us a great indication of where many of the chief GC men are at before the Tour de France.
So what lies in store, and who needs to prove what with the start of the Tour de France less than a month away?