Swift makes Criterium du Dauphine debut - News Shorts

Boasson Hagen headlines Dimension Data for Dauphine, Bardiani sign Bresciani

Ben Swift will race the Critérium du Dauphiné for the first time in his career with the UAE Team Emirates squad. The British rider will be the team's man for any sprint finishes, and Diego Ulissi will look for stage victories in the early medium mountain stages while supporting team leader Louis Meintjes in the high mountains.

"In the past I have usually ridden Tour de Suisse," Swift said in a press release. "I am looking forward to trying a new race with what looks like an exciting profile."

Ulissi was also at the camp at Passo San Pellegrino in Italy, and described it as intensive. "We are really focused for the next goals," the Italian said. "The Dauphiné will show if we have prepared well for the Tour de France and at the same time will give us the opportunity to get some important results."

For Meintjes, like most Tour de France contenders, the Dauphiné is an important test for July. Last year, the South African was second in the best young rider's classification and eighth overall, and will look to improve upon those results.

"The team and I have been working hard so I hope for a good race. It's also a really important test for the Tour de France. This race can tell you how you are, and if you have taken the right path or not. But the hope is also to bring home some good results."

UAE Team Emirates for the Critérium du Dauphiné: Matteo Bono, Kristijan Durasek, Vegard Stake Laengen, Louis Meintjes, Manuele Mori, Ben Swift, Diego Ulissi, and Federico Zurlo.

Boasson Hagen headlines Dimension Data's Dauphine squad

The Dimension Data team will back Norwegian champion Edvald Boasson Hagen in their hunt for stage victories at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Boasson Hagen last year won the points classification in the race, and has shown to be on fine form after winning the Tour of Norway and Tour des Fjords last month.

"I am looking forward to the Dauphine again this year," Boasson Hagen said. "I have done well at this race in the past and last year went well for our team in general. This year we start over though and it is a new race all together.

"I have been feeling good until now and I hope to build on my form through this week. There are some stages that could suit me at the Dauphine and I hope to be part of the final on those days. Everyone starts to come to their best level here so I think we will have a good and hard race."

Dimension Data for the Critérium du Dauphiné: Edvald Boasson Hagen, Serge Pauwels, Scott Thwaites, Youcef Reguigui, Natnael Berhane, Jay Thomson, Adrien Niyonshuti and Ben O'Connor.

Bardiani sign Bresciani 

After taking action to dismiss Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni following their doping positives, Bardiani CSF have signed under-23 rider Michael Bresciani from the Zalf-Euromobil-Desirée-Fior team.

Bresciani won the Circuito S. Urbano this year, and has a number of victories at the amateur level over the last few years. He rode as a trainee with Roth-Skoda in 2015.

The move is still being finalized after Bardiani made an agreement with Bresciani's current team.

"I'm really happy for the great chance that Bardiani-CSF has offered me," said Bresciani. "I've gotten good experience in under 23 and I feel ready to make a new step. I know it won't be easy, professional cycling is another world, another level of competition. But I'm really motivated. I already had the opportunity to chat with Bruno and Roberto Reverberi, soon I'll meet also Zanatta. I also know well a few of my new teammates, it will be a big help. I can't wait wait to debut."

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