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Aru, Froome, Contador to Dauphine

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Mar 31, 2016 – Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Fabio Aru, who have won the last four Grand Tours between them, will all take part in June’s Criterium du Dauphine ahead of the Tour de France, organizers confirmed on Thursday.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

With defending champion Froome, Contador and Aru, the winners of last year’s Tour de France, Giro D’Italia and Vuelta a Espana respectively, it is an “absolutely phenomenal field” for a “very difficult and intense course,” according to race director Christian Prudhomme.

The race will be held from June 5-12, and for the first time in 15 years, the prologue at the Alpine ski station of Les Gets will be fought out on a climb, with an ascent of Mont Chery (3.9km at a 9.7 percent gradient).

“There are stages for the all-rounders, the sprinters, breakaways and for climbers, but the Criterium favours the climbers,” said race technical director and two-time Tour de France champion Bernard Thevenet.