Like many teams, Arkéa-Samsic had a great time with this Grand Départ in Denmark. “It was over the top“, admitted the general manager of Arkéa-Samsic Emmanuel Hubert. But if the formation will keep such a good memory, it is also because their sporting fears did not materialize. The start of the Tour de France is often marked by crashes, even more when wind is announced as was the case in Denmark. But, in the end, the Breton team came out of it very well, its two leaders Warren Barguil and Nairo Quintana having avoided all the crashes. Even if it hasn’t gone far for the Colombian.
The goal of the general, Quintana has appropriated it
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“Nairo saw the fall of very few on Sunday (he slaloms to avoid falling), Emmanuel Hubert told us. It proves that you have to be vigilant but also have a little luck not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But, whether it’s Warren or Nairo, they got through without a hitch so that’s a good thing.“. Because this fall cost outsiders in the general standings like Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost) or Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) around thirty seconds.
One crash and the peloton split in two
So many direct opponents of Nairo Quintana in the race for the general classification, a goal that the Colombian always has in the back of his mind. “The goal of the general, Nairo has appropriated itadmits the manager of Arkéa-Samsic. Then we will advise over time. We know that today, to win the Tour de France, it looks very very complicated, it’s obvious. But if we do between 5 and 7, it suits us very well“. And that’s why the Colombian is so protected on the plain.
On the morning of the cobblestones, there will inevitably be a little tension in the bus
“Sometimes, we fight for about thirty seconds but thirty seconds, in the Alps or the Pyrenees, it remains anecdotalhe tempers. But it’s the goal of the game too, to always be closer to the head“At this level, everything is going well for Nairo Quintana and Arkéa-Samsic since the Colombian currently occupies 27th place overall, 56 ” from the yellow jersey Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and therefore 42 ” the first of the favorites, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).But the hardest part may be beginning for the one who was on the podium of the Tour de France in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Especially on Wednesday, with the famous cobblestone stage between Lille and Arenberg.
Matis Louvel (Arkéa-Samsic), Paris-Roubaix 2022
Credit: Getty Images
“On the morning of the cobbles, there is bound to be a little tension on the bus because, even if we have runners who rub very well, it is not really Nairo’s favorite terrain.precisely explains the manager of Arkéa-Samsic. This is also why we asked riders like Connor (Swift) or Matis (Louvel) to stay with him and accompany him. Even if Matis could have played the stage, I think that we will play the safety card and that we will ask him to stay alongside his leaders. Afterwards, if we have everyone around Nairo, why not let Matis try his luck? We’ll see. Now, if there is need to lend a hand, he may be more useful alongside Nairo than playing a hypothetical victory at Arenberg, which will go to the great cobblestone specialists“. Which does not prevent Arkéa-Samsic from dreaming of a stage victory by Paris.
Sprint to 80 or victorious breakaway: undecided scenario in Calais?
“If I have to choose between a top 5 overall or a stage, I preferred a stage victory, from Nairo, Warren or even anotherexplains Emmanuel Hubert. Given our season, we have the right to believe in it“. Above all a confident Warren Barguil, winner this time of a Tirreno-Adriatico stage and the GP Miguel Indurain.”I have rarely seen him so eager to win a stageadmits his manager. He is sharp, he has a good face… All the lights are green“. So why not see him triumph this week and his many hilly stages? From Tuesday in Calais?
The range of PR: Cap Blanc-Nez is a construction site but everything should be decided in the final bend
“The weather is not favorable for edges at the moment but we should not expect a sprint between 180 or 176 runners either.analyzes Emmanuel Hubert. Cap Blanc-Nez is not neutral. But I wouldn’t be surprised if a group of 60-80 riders, with a good part of the sprinters, were fighting for victory in Calais. Now, it will also depend on who will ride behind the breakaway. On the eve of the cobblestones, the leaders will want to spare their teammates. The scenario is therefore very indecisive. Even if the fight promises to be intense, we will probably try to place someone in the breakaway“At Arkéa-Samsic, ambition is never far away.
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