With Contador, Valverde, Pereiro and Evans, the fifth big name for overall honours at the Dauphiné is Ivan Basso. Frustrated over his performance at the Giro d’Italia where he rode well and finished fifth but didn't collect the success he expected, the Italian wants to profit from the condition he has after his national Tour before taking a break in July. The Tour de France is not in the picture for him this year. He is looking at the Vuelta and the world championship at the end of the season.
The Dauphiné offers this quintet enough climbs to express itself and makes for great racing. On Thursday, the race will return to the Mont Ventoux after a year's absence, which is another warm up for the Tour de France. La Grande Bourcle is also returning to the Giant of Provence on the penultimate day this year.