The image is beautiful and the symbol is strong. Although he only has it by proxy, Hugo Page can boast of wearing a distinctive jersey on the roads of one of the most prestigious events on the world calendar, at the age of 20, for his first season at this level. . This Friday, starting from Rives (Isère), the Eurélien could display a broad smile on this Critérium du Dauphiné (2.UWT). In green, he then had everything to see life in pink. A little less a few hours later, when crossing the finish line in Gap. The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert runner was indeed hit by the Colombian Juan Sebastian Molano, who struck him in the face in the final, before doing it again in the Hautes-Alpes prefecture, in the heart of the bus area. The South American has since been disqualified.
GOOD RECOVERY FACULTIES
This episode inevitably has something to do with (temporarily) losing Hugo Page’s smile, but certainly not his satisfaction of displaying a hell of a level since the start of the event. Before taking two chestnuts this Friday, the two Ardèche stages had indeed perfectly launched Hope 3 on this Critérium du Dauphiné. 4th at Beauchastel then 8th at Brives-Charensac – but 3rd in the peloton sprint behind the breakaway – he immediately marked his territory and was able to find a place for himself among the greats. “I surprise myself. I knew I was in good shape, I had seen it in the last few months, but I still didn’t expect that. In any case, I am happy to show by my results that I am in good condition”he congratulated himself for DirectVelo at the start of the sixth stage, the day after another Top 5 in Chaintré and before rubbing shoulders once again with the sprinters in Gap (see rankings). “These Dauphiné stages are always difficult, even when it comes to sprinting. It’s WorldTour level so inevitably, it rolls very quickly in the bumps and it skims the peloton quickly. It’s good to be able to stay ahead and sprint after hard stages”. Hugo Page is also delighted with his recovery qualities, which he discovers at this level. “I see that I can still sprint after five or six days of racing, it’s interesting for the future”.
Without doing too much, he knows that this Critérium du Dauphiné could change a lot of things. His objectives, like his role in the team, should evolve in the short and longer terms. “Inevitably, I think the team will realize that I’m fast enough and that I can win races at WorldTour level. I will already try to win one in Class 1. Maybe it can change things for the future but I still want to go step by step, working and taking my time”. And to think that it all started, this year, with a sprint that he shouldn’t have competed in (read here). “My coach knew I was fast in training. He saw it by analyzing the powers developed. At the Tour of Oman, I had my chance and that started the thing. I thank the team because all week, I had this freedom to be able to sprint on this Dauphiné. It’s amazing”.
WINNING, THE NEXT STEP
On Saturday, Hugo Page will probably not be able to hope for anything from the penultimate stage of the competition. To see Hugo Page play the leading roles again, you will have to wait a little bit. But it is no longer certain to see him go on the attack so often as he had done so far, in the first part of the season. “I’m a striker, too. But it is perhaps on this point that things could change after this Dauphiné. In previous races, I moved before the final because I was not necessarily the team’s trump card in the event of a sprint. But now, by running intelligently, I will be able to do good things in other races, especially the French Cup rounds”.
With the conviction that he is on the right track, and the satisfaction of seeing that the work pays off. Waiting for the sequel which could only be more beautiful. “I want to become as complete and versatile as possible. I still want, above all, to work on my strengths because I consider that this is how I can hope to win races. However, this is precisely the goal of being able to win races fairly quickly, on a lot of terrain”. So yes, of course, Hugo Page made the “bad buzz” despite himself this Friday. But make no mistake; the one who collected the successes among the Juniors in 2019 (trace his entire journey here) did not wait for this unfortunate incident to make people talk about him this week, and certainly reveal himself to the general public. By making the power of her thighs and calves speak.