Adam Yates heads a strong Mitchelton-SCOTT squad at Critérium du Dauphiné

Thu 6 Jun 2019

Briton Adam Yates leads a strong Mitchelton-SCOTT squad into the Critérium du Dauphiné as preparations for the Tour de France begin to ramp up.

Yates finished runner-up last season and will use the eight-day stage race as a key preparation event ahead of next month’s second Grand Tour of the year.

The 26-year-old will be supported by a diverse team which includes Australian Jack Haig, who returns to racing after an injury side-lined him from racing after completing Paris-Nice in March. Dual South African champion Daryl Impey will also step up his Tour de France preparations as he starts his first race since the Ardennes Classics. 

2019 new signings Dion Smith and Nick Schultz will add depth to the squad alongside the experienced Slovenian sprinter Luka Mezgec, while Australian Damien Howson will be looking to continue his strong form in stage races this season. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT Team:
Jack Haig (AUS, 25)
Damien Howson (AUS, 26)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 34)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 30)
Nick Schultz (AUS, 24) 
Dion Smith (NZL, 26)
Adam Yates (GB, 26)

The Course

The eight-day stage race packs just about everything into its parcours in just over a week’s worth of racing. The first three stages all feature climbs throughout the day with the category-one Puy Mary kicking off the race inside opening 34-kilometres of the opening stage. The second day features no less than eight categorised peaks and although non are greater than a category-two test, the relentless up and down profile will test the peloton.

Stage three should be one for the sprinters with four category-four ramps to content with, the last coming at 60-kilomteres from the finish. The general classification hopefuls will then return to action with a 26.1-kilometre time trial before another sprint stage on the following day.

At 229-kilometres in length, stage six is the longest of the race and the back half of the day is littered with climbs that will bring the GC contenders out to play. The penultimate day is the Queen Stage, featuring three category-one peaks and an hors catégorie summit finish up to Les Sept Laux-Pipay. The race concludes with another brutal mountainous stage, with seven climbs spread over just 113.2-kilometres, which should make for an explosive final day. 

The Past

Adam Yates’ second place overall in 2018 is the team’s best GC result at Critérium du Dauphiné and betters the previous best placing of fifth in 2015, also set by the Brit.

Yates’ second place last season was capped off by a stage win on the final day, adding to Daryl Impey’s win on the opening road stage. The two stage wins in 2018 were the team’s first victories at the race since Luke Durbridge won the prologue on the team’s debut in 2012.

Adam Yates

“I’m looking forward to racing again after a small break and then a big training block following a busy start to the season. Dauphine is always a hard race with everybody using it as a building block towards the Tour de France.

"It will be good for me to test where the legs are at and we’ve got a decent team also with Jack Haig coming back from injury so I’m excited to see what we can do there.”

Laurenzo Lapage - Sports Director

“This race is a preparation race for us, we hope to come out of the race better than we go into it, thinking about the races that are coming after. There’s a few riders coming back from injury and small breaks from racing.

“Adam is always good for the general classification in races, if you can bring him into the last few days in a good position, but we won’t go into this race with real pressure to go for the GC, we will bring him through each and see how it is going.

“The course is always hard and doesn’t have that many sprint stages. Possibly stage one and three could be, Daryl is coming back to racing after a short break and we have Dion and also Luka there to help and be involved in the sprints so those guys will speak out on the road each day.

“Jack Haig has been ok for the moment after his knee injury, so we will continue to give him some time and see how he is reacting to the racing with no pressure.”

Critérium du Dauphiné 2019 - Race Details:

Sunday, 9th June: Stage 1, Aurillac – Jussac, 142km
Monday, 10th June: Stage 2, Mauriac – Craponne-sur-Arzon, 180km 
Tuesday, 11th June: Stage 3, Le Puy-en-Velay - Riom, 172km
Wednesday, 12th June: Stage 4, Roanne - Roanne, TT 26.1km
Thursday, 13th June: Stage 5, Boen-sur-Lignon - Voiron, 201km
Friday, 14th June: Stage 6, Sint-Vulbas – Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne, 229km
Saturday, 15th June: Stage 7, Saint-Genix-le-Villages - Pipay, 134km
Sunday, 16th June: Stage 8, Cluses - Champery, 113.5km

Photos courtesy of Getty Images