Lidl-Trek goes all-out for Critérium du Dauphiné with Mads Pedersen, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Giulio Ciccone

Traditional big test ahead of the Tour de France, Critérium du Dauphiné will once again welcome the greatest stars of the cycling world on the French roads. Sprinters will battle it out in the scenic valleys while climbers will look forward to ride some of the less known (but by no means easier!) Alpine passes.

Lidl-Trek is fully up to the challenge. The American World Tour formation brings core of their expected Grande Boucle lineup to get the first taste of the atmosphere in French Alpes.

Former world champion, Tour and Vuelta stage winner Mads Pedersen headlines the selection as he returns from a racing break the Dane needed after tough spring where he was one of the minor victims of the massive Dwars door Vlaanderen crash. And believe it or not, this will be Pedersen's debut at the Dauphiné. Regarding his personal ambitions, stages 1 and 5 could be interesting for the versatile sprinter.

Of course, with Lidl-Trek's ambition to rise to the top of the cycling world, general classification of such prestigious race cannot be overlooked. Climbers Tao Geoghegan Hart and Giulio Ciccone are the chosen ones for the job. However the current shape of the pair is up in the air.

While Geoghegan Hart, Giro d'Italia winner and multiple top 10 finisher at Dauphiné himself, has indicated that the legs are getting up there in his 9th overall at Tour de Romandie, he'll need to be two steps better if he wants to be competitive against the stacked field in France.

If there are doubts about the Brit's readiness, the Italian fan-favourite Giulio Ciccone is one big question mark. The 29-year-old's winter was impacted by a knee injury which required a surgery. Ciccone has only raced Tour de Romandie and Eschborn-Frankfurt so far in 2024 and the results didn't give his fans much to hope for.

There is one more interesting weapon in armory. Carlos Verona is known to be a reliable mountain domestique, but leaving Movistar at the end of last year was clear signal that the 31-year-old Spaniard would also to seek his own opportunities. And one such could present itself to Verona in Dauphiné, where the GC might be outside his reach, however a one of the stages could be on his bingo card.

Lidl-Trek for Critérium du Dauphiné:

Mads Pedersen
Giulio Ciccone
Tao Geoghegan Hart
Ryan Gibbons
Alex Kirsch
Toms Skujins
Carlos Verona

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