Recon Ride: Criterium du Dauphine - Podcast

Looking ahead to the route and favourites for eight days of high-calibre racing in France

With the Giro d'Italia in the rear-view mirror, the Tour de France tune-up season is underway, and everything kicks off this weekend at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

One of the most prestigious one-week events on the pro cycling calendar, the Dauphiné has drawn most of the Tour's top contenders – as it usually does – for eight days of hard racing in France.

Defending champion Chris Froome will be looking for win number four, but the competition is set to be fierce with Alberto Contador, Richie Porte, Alejandro Valverde and plenty of other big names in the mix. A parcours that features a time trial and some very steep climbs will ensure that the Dauphiné is an ideal proving ground for the big stars ahead of cycling's main event.

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