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“My objective is to do the best I can, without putting any pressure on myself, while remembering that I am here to continue my preparation for the Tour de France."

Photo: ASO/B.Bade

CRITERIUM DU DAUPHINE

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GROUPAMA-FDJ

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THIBAUT PINOT

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02.06.2016 @ 13:35 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With an overall win on the Critérium International and a very impressive runner-up finish on the Tour de Romandie, Thibaut Pinot comes in as perhaps the rider to beat on the Dauphiné... with Alberto Contador, one of the few to have beaten him this year in a stage race. The leader of the FDJ squad is very satisfied with his current form with the Tour de France just around the corner.

 

“It is true that I have not done it since 2011, and I missed not riding in the Dauphiné," Pinot said. "It is sure that the big Tour de France favourites compete in this race. When I scheduled my programme, I wasn't necessarily preoccupied with knowing who would be here, because all the races are difficult to win. But it is very interesting to see exactly where I am against the competition.

“I gave myself a week off [after Romandie] and then we did the reconnaissance of the stages for the Tour and the Dauphiné in the Alps. Since then, I have done a lot of training, with some very big sessions the past few days. I will not be 100%, because after a break there is still work to be done to return to the form I had on the Tour de Romandie. In any case, the month of May was very important. I think I have progressed well.
 

“My objective is to do the best I can, without putting any pressure on myself, while remembering that I am here to continue my preparation for the Tour de France. Among the favourites, we all function differently. Alberto Contador likes to be on form rather early, which has been the case this year. Chris Froome has already shown that you can start a little late and then be very strong in July. Each of us has his own strategy. As for myself, I prefer to get the season started and get good results as soon as possible. This is how it has gone this year, I am pretty pleased so far.”

This year the race will start with a mountain prologue.

 

“I would love that," Pinot said. "I went to have a look at it during our training programme not long ago and for sure I feel good on this type of ride. It is a very difficult climb that will demand massive efforts. But I would say Alberto Contador will be the favourite for this one. It is very similar to the time-trial on this year's Tour of the Basque country and he put more than a minute on me!

The Dauphiné is also very important for fine-tuning the execution of Pinot's team, especially with Steve Morabito and Sebastien Reichenbach.


“The team for the Dauphiné resembles the squad we will have for the Tour," he said. "The goal is to continue to work together. We spent time together in training and there was very good complicity among us. I am sure that there won't be any problems. So, the objective is to be able to hang in there and even break the momentum of teams such as Sky, Tinkoff and Movistar on the climbs. I think that in Romandie for example, we demonstrated that we were capable of reaching a very good level. So, it just needs to continue.”"

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