Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team ready for Critérium du Dauphiné debut

This Sunday, June 2nd, Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team will line up for its maiden Critérium du Dauphiné with a motivated seven-rider squad on a mission to chase stage victories.

30 May 2024.
Alessandro Fancellu and Mark Donovan @Harry Talbot

Leading the team is Brit Mark Donovan, who, fresh from an altitude training camp in Andorra, is ready to spearhead the stage-hunting efforts. The 25-year-old will be competing in his third Critérium du Dauphiné and is eager to excel in one of the race’s many climbing challenges.

“I’m really motivated for Dauphiné after a big training block. I’m really keen to get stuck into another race and this has always been one of my favourite races of the year. This edition is particularly hard with a highly competitive start-list. As a team we can aim to be really aggressive pretty much every day. I think we can go for the breakaways and try to race from the front, be up there and show the jersey. I believe we have quality of riders in our squad to contest for some good results. It’s going to be a fun week,” said Donovan.

Joining our climber-heavy roster are Australian James Whelan, returning to the Critérium du Dauphiné after a four-year hiatus, and Norwegian Carl Fredrik Hagen, who recently showed good from at Tour of Norway, where he finished 10th overall.

Filippo Conca
Alessandro Fancellu
James Whelan
Critérium du Dauphiné Line-up:
Filippo Conca (ITA)
Mark Donovan (GBR)
Alessandro Fancellu (ITA)
Carl Fredrik Hagen (NOR)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)
Nicolò Parisini (ITA)
James Whelan (AUS)

Our objective will be to target stages”

Italians Alessandro Fancellu and Filippo Conca will seize breakaway opportunities, while Nicolò Parisini will be targeting fast finishes on Stages 1 and 5. The squad is rounded out by Swedish Tobias Ludvigsson, bringing depth and experience as he starts his third Critérium du Dauphiné.

“This is a high level race, the last preparation for many of the Tour de France competitors and we can expect some tremendously hard racing! Our objective will be to target stages, starting already on stage 1 and 2. Later on Stage 5 presents another good opportunity but hopefully our climbers will be able to step up and be competitive in the mountain stages,”explained Sports Director Aart Vierhouten.

The eight-day WorldTour stage race will feature 32,987 meters of elevation gain with 28 categorized climbs over 1,203 kilometers. More than half the stages will end with summit finishes. The race also includes a 34.4km time trial on Stage 4 and two stages that could suit sprinters or puncheurs.

The 76th edition of Critérium du Dauphiné begins on Sunday with sprinters friendly 174.8km stage in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule. The very next day the shortish stage with the uphill finish at Col de la Loge, a 25km climb, will give the General Classification contenders their first opportunity to size up the competition and seize the race lead.

The rugged, up and down parcours of Stage 3 to Les Estables presents an opportunity for breakaway hopefuls to claim a stage win before the crucial 34.4km individual time trial around Neulise on Stage 4.

Featuring 200.2km Stage 5 will be the longest in this year’s edition of Critérium du Dauphiné and the final chance for the non-climbers to fight for glory. A sprint finish is likely on the cards although the route includes four categorized climbs.

The race will conclude with a three-act Alpine battle royale with three consecutive mountain stages with mountaintop finishes at Collet d’Allevard, Samoëns 1600 for the first time, and the Plateau des Glières.

Alongside the GC battle, there will be plenty of opportunities for breakaway victories and Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team is motivated to fight for a top result at one of the most challenging stage races of the season.