After finishing 10th in the Giro d'Italia last month, Italy's Davide Formolo has set his sights on a top-five place in the Vuelta a España. The Cannondale-Drapac climber is currently racing the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he is likely to play a supporting role for Andrew Talansky. After a break in July, the 24-year-old will return to racing in August at the Tour de Pologne before embarking on the Vuelta, where he finished ninth last year.
"The Giro was a long fight, a long three weeks, but I'm really happy. It was my first top 10 in the Giro and I was top 10 in the Vuelta last year, so we'll see if I can improve with each Grand Tour," he told Cyclingnews.
"For sure I need to work on my time trialing. On the climbs we can see that I'm not that far from the leaders, but the gaps in the TT are big. From here I'll go to Poland and then the Vuelta, where the goal can be a top five."
Formolo has come through the first two days of Dauphine relatively unscathed, although he lost time on the opening stage in Saint-Etienne.
"I wasn't feeling the best on stage 1 and we're taking to one day at a time," he said. "I had a recovery period after the Giro and we're still coming through that now. We'll look to open the legs up a little bit from now."
Tony Gallopin to AG2R La Mondiale?
Former Tour de France yellow jersey Tony Gallopin is just one of several riders on Lotto Soudal out of contract at the end of the season, but the 29-year-old should have no problems finding a team. According to sources, AG2R La Mondiale are leading the chase as they look to sign another high-profile French rider. Lotto Soudal are apparently waiting until later in the season before locking down riders out of contract.
"I don't know for the moment,” Gallopin told Cyclingnews when asked about his future.
"We're in discussions, but I have no idea. We've spoken with teams, and I have someone who takes care of me. At the moment it's just discussion, but it's still early in the year."
When asked specifically about AG2R, Gallopin confirmed the French team's interest but stressed that it was too early in the campaign to put pen to paper.
"That's an option, but honestly I can't say more than this. I'm racing and I'm at the Dauphiné and then the Tour. Then we still have some weeks to decide. AG2R are one of the options, but there are other discussions."
Swift builds form ahead of Nationals and Tour de France
After a mixed spring, Ben Swift has returned to racing at the Critérium du Dauphiné as he builds form ahead of the Tour de France. The 29-year-old has not raced the Tour since his debut in 2011 but is expected to return as part of the UAE Emirates team next month.
"I'm happy with the sensations after a long period away," he told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 2.
"On the first stage I was there, but we had some trouble with our radios and we didn't know the break still had over three minutes when we reached the final circuit. The problem was that a lot of sprinters didn't think that they would be there at the finish so they didn't chase."
Swift has cracked the top 10 in the first two Dauphiné stages but is still waiting for his first victory in UAE colours after moving from Team Sky in the winter.
"We've got another couple of stages, but this week is all about trying to improve on my early season and try and be consistent ahead of the Nationals and then the Tour de France."
After finishing fifth in last year's Tour de France, Australian Richie Porte will return to the race in July to lead BMC Racing's challenge once more. The 32-year-old has been in consistent form so far in 2017, with overall wins in the Tour Down Under and the Tour de Romandie and a stage at Paris-Nice. In the last year he has moulded a team around him and on current form could be Chris Froome's biggest challenger for the yellow jersey.
During an evening at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Cyclingnews sat down with Porte at BMC's hotel on the outskirts of Saint-Étienne to talk about his steady progress, his voice in deciding his Tour teammates and whether Froome is at his most vulnerable this year.
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