Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) will continue his Tour de France build up with the start of tomorrow’s Criterium du Dauphine. The eight-day stage race begins in Champéry, Switzerland, on Sunday with a difficult 121 kilometre stage.
Fuglsang has had a consistent start to the season with 6th overall at the Vuelta a Andalucia, followed up by 11th at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. However the Dauphine marks the Dane’s final stage race preparation before this year’s Tour de France, his main objective for the season.
The 2013 Dauphine route is one of the toughest in recent years with only one stage earmarked for the sprinters and several difficult days of undulating and mountainous terrain.
"At some point or another in my career I have raced up most of these mountains. A lot of the same climbs are used again in races in some way. For the Tour this year it was good to see the important climbs with the team. In training we had bad weather, with temperatures at 3C on the top of the climb and wet snow. But we got through it and it was really good to see where we will return in July," Fuglsang said.
"It's going to be a very hard race, with no easy stages. Each day is up and down, and at least in the first part of the week the weather forecast does not look so good, so that will only make it extra hard," Fuglsang said.