Pro cycling in June

So, the Giro’s done and dusted. What comes next in the cycling year? According to my unofficial list of the races that matter, it’s the big one – the Tour de France on June 29. With that in mind, the coming weeks constitute the build-up.

On Sunday, the Critérium du Dauphiné begins. It’s an eight-stage race that takes place in France and will feature many of the main Tour contenders who will, by now, be approaching top form. It’s easy to see why this is one of the biggest stage races of the year.

In a masterful piece of scheduling, the Critérium du Dauphiné overlaps with the Tour de Suisse, another World Tour event. This nine-stage race also constitutes great Tour preparation in that it features time trials and Alpine climbs. However, it doesn’t tend to attract quite as many of the big names, although there will certainly be a few.

With a nod to professionalism (a very slight, almost imperceptible nod, admittedly) I’ll sort of cover them both – but not properly. I’ll also be doing a few Tour de France preview type things: information about the race and this year’s main riders as well as advice on how to follow proceedings.

Post frequency might ebb a little this month before increasing again as Le Grand Départ approaches. It’s therefore a good time to remind you that email updates are the best way of following this site. People who are sort of interested in the Tour but who don’t fully get it would certainly benefit from some of our preview stuff, so if you know someone who fits that description, you should force them to sign up somehow. I don’t endorse kidnapping, but you could maybe threaten to rub turmeric into a favourite garment of theirs or something like that.