NTT Pro Cycling (http://www.NTTProCycling.com) has announced its team for the Critérium du Dauphiné for what's expected to be an intriguing race in the final build-up to the Tour de France.
A shorter version of this event has been planned by the organisers this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the Tour de France on the horizon many teams will be using the race asa final opportunity to fine-tune ahead of theTour.
NTT Pro Cycling's selection sees a strong climbing group of Louis Meintjes, Domenico Pozzovivo, Ben O'Connor together with the multi-talented Roman Kreuziger all take up slots in the 7-man outfit.
With a number of the hillier stages looking to provide some action packed days, Edvald Boasson Hagen -- who won the race's opening time trial in 2019 -- is joined by Michael Valgren and Michael Gogl. The latter recently rode to an excellent 9th place at Strade Bianchi.
Valgren, Boasson Hagen and Kreuziger all featured in Milano-Sanremo at the weekend where they played crucial roles in assisting Giacomo Nizzolo to his excellent 5th-place finish.
The race is different than in previous years where there was one sprint stage, one TT and five hilly stages. Now the race is just five days but very concentrated on the hilly stages, I would say that there's no proper sprint day, mostly uphill finishes so it's going to be very hard and tough with the heat and possibly thunderstorms in the Alps.
We travel to some beautiful places and around where we finish the last two or three days there are a couple of nasty climbs, so it's going to be very interesting. We have a good team but we saw at the other races that there are two really strong teams which are controlling the pace of the peloton for now, so we will have to race smart and try to make it into the breakaways to see if we can be successful.
I'm really looking forward to the Dauphine, it's going to be five hard days of racing. There will be some intense days with, I think, a number of opportunities for breakaways. Personally I hope that I can show the good form that's been coming from our training camp, and the hard work that we've been doing for the last month or so now.
We're hopeful of some kind of result with this being the last big preparation for the Tour de France, so it should be a nice week coming up for the team.
Gino van Oudenhove
This is ultimatelyall about the Tour for us. It's our final step in our preparations and we will be looking at, and focusing on, that. We will take it day by day, and try to pick out a stage where we can go for a win. The main objective will be to get ourselves totally ready for the Tour de France.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of NTT Pro Cycling.
Jean Smyth(Head of Communications)
Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31625739033
About NTT Pro Cycling:
Founded in 2007, NTT Pro Cycling (formerly Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) (http://www.NTTProCycling.com) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. With the support of our headline sponsor and technology innovation partner, NTT, we are the most purpose-driven, performance-led, and technology-enabled team in pro cycling today.
Our ambition is to continue to race at the highest levels in world cycling, to develop riders to realise their full potential and to inspire and motivate people across the African continent to ride bicycles.
We have bases in South Africa, Denmark,the Netherlands and Italy.
We also ride to raise awareness for Qhubeka, a global charity operating in South Africa, through our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
The hands on the back of the team race jersey are a reminder that every Qhubeka bicycle is a helping hand up to a beneficiary, which are provided through Qhubeka's learn-to-earn and work-to-earn programmes.
Qhubeka (https://Qhubeka.org/) is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles.People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level -- helping people to get where they need to go.
About NTT Ltd.:
NTT Ltd. (https://hello.global.NTT/) is a global technology services company bringing together the expertise of leaders in the field, including NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security. We partner with organizations around the world to shape and achieve outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. For us, intelligent means data driven, connected, digital and secure. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace and deliver services in over 200 countries and regions. Together we enable the connected future.
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