No Aru for the Tour de France, says Nibali
Vincenzo Nibali has advised that Fabio Aru should rest up during this year’s Tour de France and focus on making the Astana team for next year’s race. Nibali heads into this year’s Tour de France as the defending champion, while Aru made the Giro d’Italia podium for the second year running last month.
At a press conference held during the Critérium du Dauphiné, where Nibali is currently racing, the Italian confirmed that his younger teammate should not be thinking about this year’s Tour de France.
"Aru isn’t coming to the Tour de France," he said. "In the future he could come to the Tour de France but this year it’s not a good idea. He spent a lot of energy at the Giro and the level here is so high at the Tour. If he were to the Tour he would need a different preparation but it could certainly happen next year."
Read the full story on Nibali and his Tour de France build-up here.
Dennis in the hunt for BMC Tour de France slot
After leading home BMC’s team time trial effort on stage 3 of the Critérium du Dauphiné and securing at least a day in the yellow jersey, Rohan Dennis has done his Tour de France credentials no harm at all.
The Australian made his Tour debut in 2013 after a similarly impressive ride at the Dauphiné in which he wore yellow and finished inside the top ten overall. Although he is at this year’s race to support teammate Tejay van Garderen, Dennis – a former Hour Record holder – acknowledged that he is in the running for a Tour slot.
"There’s never a guarantee but there’s a strong possibility that I’ll be at the Tour France," he said after stage 3.
"There’s the team time trial where I can contribute to the team and help us succeed. The opening time trial is a goal as well. I would be there for Tejay for the rest [of the race]."
Can Dowsett make the Tour cut at Movistar?
A rider with similar Tour de France ambitions, and another former Hour Record holder, is Movistar’s Alex Dowsett. The Englishman missed the cut twelve months ago but after focusing on the track in the first part of the 2015 season he has moved back onto the road.
He wrapped up overall victory in Bayern Rundfahrt last month and is currently working for Alejandro Valverde at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
"I’m fighting for a Tour de France place but I’m fairly realistic I guess. I’m still carrying some track weight which isn’t helping – the turnaround time from track to road has been quite short," he told Cyclingnews after helping Movistar to third in the stage 3 team time trial.
"I did a good a job yesterday [stage 2] protecting Alejandro at the finish when things were getting messy, and that seems to be something I’m fairly good at but it’s going to depend on the latter part of this week in the mountains, if I can get through it."
Movistar will head into the Tour with Nairo Quintana and Valverde as their protected riders, leaving seven spots up for grabs.