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"I want to be in a better shape for the Tour de France and the Dauphine will serve as a good preparation for me. However, I would like to show myself off in the mountains,” Daniel Navarro said.

Photo: Sirotti






07.06.2014 @ 09:30 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Daniel Navarro obtained one of his career’s best results in last year’s edition of Criterium du Dauphine, but while lining-up at the prestigious French stage race as a Cofidis leader this season, the 30-year old Spaniard is aware that finishing the race inside the top five will be a tremendously difficult task this time around.


Navarro managed to finish fifth in the 2013 edition of the Criterium du Dauphine, beating the likes of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Samueal Sanchez (BMC) or Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). However, there is more than one reason for which it seems unlikely for the Cofidis captain to repeat his respectable result from last year.


Even though Tour de France contenders are usually using Criterium du Dauphine as their final preparation before an ultimate test in July, things are looking a little bit different this time around. The French stage-race is a first real occasion for Tour favorites to test each other’s strength in combat conditions, and everything suggests that for slightly different reasons Chris Froome (Team Sky), Contador and Vincanzo Nibali (Astana) will all be looking for a confidence boost before crossing their swords in three weeks.


“It will be difficult to repead what I have achieved last year, because there are going to be fine riders starting this year. I’m entering competition with slightly shorter preparations, even though I have been training well. I want to be in a better shape for the Tour de France and the Dauphine will serve as a good preparation for me. However, I would like to show myself off in the mountains,” Navarro told Ciclismo en Asturias.


The other reason is lack of any respectable results posted by Navarro this season, partially caused by various infections which hampered the spring season of the 30-year old Spaniard.


“I’ve had health problems. At the Volta a Catalunya a had a throat infection and during classics I suffered from gastroenteritis. But I will not worry about the past, my season starts now for real.”


While a quality of performance provided by the Cofidis captain is under question, we expect that Rein Taaramae may emerge as a true leader of the French Pro Continental team in the Criterium du Dauphine, after Estonian champion was finally successfully diagnosed for his prolonged health problems and sent some very optimistic signals with his Tour of Turkey appearance.



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