The 9-day Helvetic race will act as last Tour rehearsal from this Saturday, with a powerful Movistar Team roster including Valverde, Costa and Rojas
At the same time eight from their teammates continue with their participation in the Critérium du Dauphiné until Sunday, a second Movistar Team block heads tomorrow into Helvetic turf to start with the 76th edition of the Tour de Suisse on Saturday. Nine days of competition will serve as the best preparation for some of the Blue starters in the Tour de France, the telephone squad bringing a strong roster captained by Alejandro Valverde. Alongside the Spaniard, Rui Costa, José Joaquín Rojas, Marzio Bruseghin, Iván Gutiérrez, Ignatas Konovalovas, Jesús Herrada and 2007 overall victor Vladimir Karpets complete the 8-man group.
The race will kick off with a 7k prologue in Lugano preceeding the first summit finish in Verbier (HC) on Sunday. After four long stages, yet with some difficulties in the latter part of the routes, another ITT, a 34-kilometer one, will come on Friday before two consecutive, closing mountain-top arrivals: Arosa (HC), on Saturday 16, and Sörenberg (Cat. 2) to round things up on Sunday 17.
Dauphiné closes in on decisive stages
Meanwhile, day four of the Critérium du Dauphiné, 167 kilometers between Givors and La Clayette, witnesses a bunch sprint finish won by Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY) in a day with absolute inexistent history before four remarkable stages coming up in the French event from tomorrow. With three mountain routes proposed for the weekend, a long, selective ITT of 53.5 kilometers between Villié-Morgon and Bourg-en-Bresse will sort out the overall, in which Andrey Amador still leads the Movistar Team performances with his 9th spot, six seconds behind Bradley Wiggins (SKY).