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"It's a bit different because we don't have a leader for the GC. But I think we have many quality riders who can contend for stages," sports director Yvon Ledanois says

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BRENT BOOKWALTER

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CRITERIUM DU DAUPHINE

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DOMINIK NERZ

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IVAN SANTAROMITA

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LARRY WARBASSE

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MANUEL QUINZIATO

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MARTIN KOHLER

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THOR HUSHOVD

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YANNICK EIJSSEN

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30.05.2013 @ 18:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Unlike most other big teams, the BMC team will not send their Tour de France leaders to next week's Criterium du Dauphiné to prepare for the world's biggest race. Instead, the team will field a team of stage hunters in the Alpine stage race and hopes to see former world champion notch up a stage as he is getting back to his best form.

 

In recent years, Criterium du Dauphiné have appeared to emerge victorious from the battle with the Tour de Suisse for the role as the best preparation race for the Tour de France. By including many key sections from the Tour route in the race itinerary, the French event now has the upper hand when it comes to attracting the world's biggest name.

 

BMC has been no exception from that recent trend and has mostly send its team leaders to the Alps in the beginning of June. Cadel Evans has a formidable record in the event, having finished 2nd in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 and 3rd last year, and only skipped the event in 2010 when he just came off a hard Giro d'Italia.

 

This year he has once again raced the Italian grand tour and so will not include any races in the period between the world's two biggest stage races. The team's other GC contender Tejay Van Garderen who recently won his first ever major stage race at the Tour of California, has also chosen to skip the race that saw him take a breakthrough 3rd place as a neo-professional in 2010 and will return to the Tour de Suisse for the first time since 2011.

 

That leaves the American squad with a roster consisting mostly of stage hunters and the team enters the race knowing that a GC result is beyond their reach.

 

"It's a bit different because we don't have a leader for the GC," sports director Yvon Ledanois said. "But I think we have many quality riders who can contend for stages."

 

The biggest name in the line-up is former world champion Thor Hushovd. After an illness-plagued first season at BMC, the Norwegian has shown glimpses of his former strength despite a largely disappointing classics campaign. He last raced in California where he supported Van Garderen and also took four top 10 places in the bunch sprints.

 

The Dauphiné is an extremely mountainous race and there are no stages for the pure sprinter. However, the Norwegian is a solid climber and could perform well in stage 2, 3 and 6 that are all well-suited to his characteristics.

 

 "I got a better feeling in California and my body was reacting over the race so I was pleased with my improving form day-by-day," he said. "I will have to look into the details of how the finishes are, but I think there are some nice opportunities for me. They all look like hard finishes, with some heavy climbs, but I think I'm climbing better, so there are some possibilities."

 

The team also boasts a number of climber and young Dominik Nerz and Yannick Eijssen both hope to show their worth in the tougher stages. The same goes for Ivan Santaromita who played a key support role for Cadel Evans in the Giro and if he has recovered well, he could target another win after his triumph in the Giro del Trentino earlier this year.

 

Strong riders Manuel Quinziato, Brent Bookwalter and Martin Kohler are also part of the line-up which will also include neo-professional Larry Warbasse in his third WorldTour stage race this year.

 

The Criterium du Dauphiné starts on Sunday with a road stage starting and finishing in Champery.

 

BMC Racing Team for the Criterium du Dauphiné

Thor Hushovd, Brent Bookwalter, Manuel Quinziato, Martin Kohler, Ivan Santaromita, Dominik Nerz, Yannick Eijssen and Larry Warbasse

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