Trek-Segafredo has confirmed Alberto Contador will lead its team at the Criterium du Dauphine in preparation for July's Tour de France. Contador hasn't raced since finishing second overall at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and will be hoping the same approach as 2016 to the Dauphine will lead to success.
Contador has finished on the Dauphine podium three times in his career with tenth place his worse result from seven starts. In 2016, Contador won the Les Gets prologue and enjoyed several days in yellow before slipping to fifth place overall.
At the Criterium du Dauphine, the 34-year-old will be well supported by his Trek-Segafredo team which features predominately Spanish riders. Haimer Zubeldia, Jesus Hernandez, and Markel Irizar will all be key men in the high mountains for Contador.
In 2017, Contador has finished second overall at Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Paris-Nice and the Ruta del Sol but is still searching for his first win in Trek-Segafredo colours.
Although Colombian Jarlinson Pantano misses the race and instead heads to Tour de Suisse, Austrian Michael Gogl will be on hand in the mountains for Contador. Gogl is likely to be a key man at the Tour de France for Contador with the Dauphine an important test against the likes the Chris Froome (Team Sky), Richie Porte (BMC) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Belgian Edward Theuns is the sole fast man in the team and will be given opportunities in the flatter stages to chase stage wins. The team is rounded out by domestiques Andre Cardoso and Fumiyuki Beppu.
The Criterium du Dauphine starts with a 170.5km stage around Saint-Étienne on Sunday, followed with a 171km stage from Saint-Chamond to Arlanc. The stage 4 time trial from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu should see the first gaps open up on the general classification before the mountain heavy back end to the race. Cyclingnews will have daily live coverage start to finish of each of the eight stages.
Trek-Segafredo for the 2017 Criterium du Dauphine: Alberto Contador, Andre Cardoso, Edward Theuns, Fumiyuki Beppu, Haimer Zubeldia, Jesus Hernandez, Markel Irizar, and Michael Gogl.