Romain Bardet has regained his morale, you can be reassured. Forced to death in the soul, and to everyone’s surprise abandoned on the 13th stage of the Giro, the Brivadois had seen his objective for the season suddenly disappear due to a virus. Back on his feet, the rider from the DSM team switches to Tour de France mode, in which he had not taken part last year. A little surprise, and inevitably more measured ambitions.
The moment when Bardet saw his dreams fly away
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Revenge on the Giro? Bardet will be fine at the start
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In a press point which we were able to attend, it was a rather serene Romain Bardet who presented himself. The climber assures him, he was able “take a step back“of this”real setback“.”We don’t switch overnightexplains the 31-year-old runner. Physically, it took me a while to recover. It was not episodic what I had, at home either I was not well. I had a hard time realizing when I got home that it slipped through my fingers without seeing anything coming, it took me a week to digest the disappointment.” “But I’m back” he smiles, already projected on the sequel.
Because the 2nd of the Tour 2016 did not leave time to ruminate on this disappointment, he who was at the time of his withdrawal a solid contender for the podium, or even better. “There are plenty of positives to take away from all of this: I was on the level, able to fight with the best on a Grand Tour. The preparation had been very good. It’s bad luck that I caught this virus, but that doesn’t call into question all this work.“This undermining job, which could now serve as the basis for a return to the Grande Boucle, his first participation with the DSM formation, through the front door.
Preparation in the form of a prologue before the Tour
Romain Bardet will not come to Copenhagen with a place in the overall standings in mind. “What I need is to please myself” assures the one who had left AG2R to find a little more this more instinctive approach. “We knew it would be a possibility for me to do the Tour after the Tour of Italy. But it’s not because the Giro ended badly, that we transpose everything on the Tour and that we play our season on it. I will arrive at the Tour as an opportunist, and take the race day by day.”
Cherel on the abandonment of Bardet: “It’s unfortunate, but it may be good for the Tour”
However, there is no question of just making an act of presence there. Bardet, like the DSM, intends to play the dynamiters of the race, in the manner of his three successes during the 2020 edition. The Frenchman does not hide it, he does not yet know in what state of form he will be at the Grand Départ on July 1 next. “It would be pretentious of me to say that I will arrive 100% on the Tour. I don’t know what state I’ll be in, I’ll do my best to get there, but now time is running out.“The Habs program to achieve this is simple: no races –”it would be too premature” he proclaims – but as much mountain as possible in Switzerland, then in France: “the best training I can do before the Tour“.
“If I have the right legs, there will be things to do”
The passes are enough to motivate Romain Bardet and whet his appetite. The plan he sets out is already well established: get through the first week without a hitch and gradually regain the sensations. “I will try to run forward, aggressively. If I have the right legs, there will be things to do between the Alpine stages, the Pyrenees in the third week… That’s what I’m looking for to be able to run the stages like the classics, the 19s with the two times. To race without a general ulterior motive behind, to race for each stage, to play them thoroughly with the map that the team has decided on. We will line up with a very aggressive team. If we can play the team classification as we have done in the past or play victories together, then we will go for it.”
“I think I’ll be pretty coolhe continues. But it’s not wise to play everything on a general and deprive yourself of doing certain things.“After all, for his second Grand Tour of the season last year, Bardet had raised his arms during the 14th stage of the Vuelta, narrowly failing in the mountain classification. Enough to put aside his Italian misfortune of may.
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