Simon Yates, Chaves join forces at Criterium du Dauphine

Simon Yates will be the leader of the Orica-Scott squad for the Critérium du Dauphiné, and the Briton will be supported by last year's Giro d'Italia runner-up Esteban Chaves, who is just returning to racing after four months out of competition due to a knee injury.

Although Yates will lead the team, directeur sportif Laurenzo Lapage says he will not be under too much pressure to get a top result.

"It would be great if he can be up there overall and also look to the white jersey competition," Lapage said. "The most important thing for us in this race is that the guys come out with a good feeling ahead of the Tour de France. As it is the first race back for many of the guys, for example Impey, we have to be careful that they use the race well and come out of it feeling good."

Yates and Chaves will be joined by Daryl Impey, who is also returning after breaking his collarbone in Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April.

"For sure I think the guys will be in good shape after their different training blocks, they always arrive in good condition and we know that the Dauphiné is always a hard race."

Also in the team is recent Baloise Belgium Tour winner Jens Keukeleire, Tour of Norway runner-up Simon Gerrans, Roman Kreuziger, Jack Haig and Herald Sun Tour winner Damien Howson.

The race begins on June 4 with three undulating stages before the individual time trial and mountain stages will swing the race in favour of the overall contenders. Lapage sees the first few stages as a chance for the team to test themselves.

"The first few days could go either way, they could potentially be bunch sprints or finish with a breakaway," he said. "Therefore these first stages are chances for the sprinters and Keukeleire is obviously in good shape having won the Tour of Belgium, so one of those early days we will ride for him and for another day we have Gerrans."

Orica-Scott for the Critérium du Dauphiné: Esteban Chaves, Simon Gerrans, Jack Haig, Damien Howson, Daryl Impey, Jens Keukeleire, Roman Kreuziger, and Simon Yates.

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