Sports Director Fabio Baldato said that the first priority for CCC Team will be to race aggressively in France.
“We don’t have a so-called team leader for the Critérium du Dauphiné but instead we have a good group of riders who I think can all try to something across the five stages. Of course, we saw that Jan Hirt was racing well and in good form at the Tour de l’Ain and although he, unfortunately, crashed on the final stage, he still finished up there with the GC favorites on the long climbs. If he is fully recovered, which we hope he will be, I think he can try to do a good overall result but the main goal for us will be to race aggressively and to try to win a stage. While the first two stages finish on climbs, they are not that long, so on paper, I think they are more hilly stages than mountain ones and that could make them more open. Overall, it will be an interesting week and we have a good team with everybody able to look for opportunities to do something and to try to make a result,” Baldato explained.
Despite crashing on the final stage of Tour de l’Ain, Jan Hirt is hoping to build on the strong climbing form he showed at the three-day race.
“Right now, after my crash on the final stage of Tour de l’Ain, I’m not 100 percent sure what I can expect from myself at the Critérium du Dauphiné and I don’t want to set any specific goals. I’m still feeling the effects of the crash a little bit but I am hopeful that I will have recovered in time for stage one on Wednesday. I was happy with what I did at Tour de l’Ain so once again, I want to do a good race and with an uphill finish every day, there is a lot of opportunities for climbers,” Hirt said.
Critérium du Dauphiné (12 – 16 August)
Rider Roster: William Barta (USA), Victor de la Parte (ESP), Jan Hirt (CZE), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Fausto Masnada (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL)
Sports Director: Fabio Baldato (ITA)