Editors’ Picks: Dauphine and Philly WWT

Here are our rapid-fire predictions for the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic Women’s WorldTour. The VeloNews editorial staff will make predictions for major races throughout the season.

Spencer Powlison, news director
Dauphiné: Alberto Contador
Philadelphia: Megan Guarnier

With an uphill prologue and two consecutive summit finishes, I like Contador for the Dauphiné. He won Pais Vasco this spring — arguably the toughest one-week race, and while Froome might be a good pick, he didn’t look terrific at Romandie.

The U.S. champ is on fire right now, and I can’t envision another woman in the Philly field being a better choice to win on Manayunk. Maybe Elisa Longo Borghini will be a threat, but the Boels team is so deep and talented.

Chris Case, managing editor
Dauphiné: Thibaut Pinot
Philadelphia: Megan Guarnier

Young and ambitious and French, Pinot won’t be able to stop himself from showing his cards as he builds toward the Tour. While Froome and Contador hold something back, Pinot will storm to the win.

The world’s strongest team will ride for its American star and help Guarnier, fresh off her national title defense, to the win in Philly.

Caley Fretz, senior editor
Dauphiné: Romain Bardet
Philadelphia: Amber Neben

It’s a tough call, since most of the contenders haven’t raced since Romandie or even Pais Vasco. Their post-training camp form is largely unknown. I’m going with Romain Bardet. He knows he’s not going to win the Tour this year, not with Froome, Contador, and Quintana all present, and that might provide a bit of extra motivation for the Dauphiné.

With Olympic selection just weeks away, Neben needs an excellent result to improve her chances of making it to Rio. Perhaps an early attack could earn her a win in Philly.

Gregor Brown, reporter
Dauphiné: Thibaut Pinot
Philadelphia: Evelyn Stevens

He was second overall to Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and winner of the time trial in the Tour de Romandie last month. Pinot will take a huge boost from that. He may not yet be able to win the Tour de France, but the Dauphiné is within his reach.

The Boels – Dolmans team should place Stevens perfectly for the final climb up Manayunk Wall. Experience always helps too. She’s won here twice.

Dane Cash, web editor and reporter
Dauphiné: Chris Froome
Philadelphia: Evelyn Stevens

When Sky riders win the Tour de France, they win the Dauphiné first. Sure, we’re working with a small sample size, but why bet against two-time winner Chris Froome in a race he knows so well?

The last three edition of the Philly Classic have either gone to Evelyn Stevens or one of her teammates. That seems likely to happen again Sunday. With just the right skill-set for the course, Stevens is the top contender on the start list — assuming the team backs her for the win and not WorldTour-leader Megan Guarnier.

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