With just a handful of days until the 103rd Tour de France gets underway, there is a French flavour to this week's episode of inCycle.
In Episode 16, InCycle spoke to several journalists at the recent Criterium du Dauphine, a dress rehearsal for the Tour, to determine what lessons can be learned from the one-week stage race and what it means in the context of the three week race in July. Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal provides insight into the race from a team perspective and how the race shapes selection for the Tour.
In 2012, Sky's Bradley Wiggins went on to win the Tour after his Dauphine success, with Chris Froome repeating the double in 2013 and 2015. With Froome winning the 2016 edition, he will be hoping its an omen for a third Tour victory while other strong performers from the Dauphine, Alberto Contador, Dan Martin, Richie Porte and Julian Alaphilippe, will also look to replicate their form from Saturday onwards.
Orica-BikeExchange's Michael Matthews has won stages and wore the leader's jerseys at both the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana but he's yet to taste success at the Tour de France. In 2014, he crashed on the eve of the race and missed the Tour while a crash on stage 3 last year left him with four broken ribs and limited his opportunities to contest for stage wins.
The 25-year-old, who is also known as 'Bling', opens up about his relationships and rivalry with Peter Sagan and potential future battles at such races like the Tour of Flanders.
For now, Matthews is focused on the Tour and claiming his first stage win at the French grand tour as he told inCycle.
There is also a feature on the Dutch national championships and what it means to wear the red, blue and white jersey. In 2016, two-time Dutch champion Koos Moerenhout was in the Rabo liv team car, directing Anouska Koster to the victory and explains the emotion of winning the title.
LottoNL-Jumbo's Dylan Groenewegen came out on top in the men's race and will debut his jersey on his first Tour de France appearance. "A dream come true," he explained while we hear from several riders on their first memories of the race and the significance of the championships.
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