Cycling is back in France. After the Tour de Burgos, in Spain, which marked the resumption of the season this week, La Route d'Occitanie, from this Saturday to Tuesday, presents a first-rate line-up. With Egan Bernal, last winner of the Tour de France, Chris Froome but also the French Thibaut Pinot, Romain Bardet and Warren Barguil. At the same time, Julian Alaphilippe will be on the side of Siena, Italy, for the Strade Bianche.
Each of them approaches this new cycle with a lot of envy and legitimate questions about their true state of form. Overview of the best French runners while waiting for the Grande Boucle, from August 29 to September 20.
Alaphilippe sees further. The rider from Quick Step-Deceuninck stands out from other French people by favoring the Strade Bianche this Saturday and Milan-San Remo (August 8), two events he won last season. “I'm still happy to participate even though I know I didn't have the condition from last year,” he told L'Equipe. My priority is not to be in top form in the first few races. Julian Alaphilippe, 28, will then only play the Dauphiné (August 12 to 16) in anticipation of the Tour where he intends to behave like a free spirit this year. The Swiss World Cup (September 27) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (October 4) are his longer-term goals.
Pinot will know where he is. The Franc-Comtois of Groupama-FDJ is delighted in advance of the arrival of the 3rd stage of La Route d'Occitanie at the Col de Beyrède this Monday, via the Port of Balès and Peyresourde. This route largely resumes the 8th stage of the next Tour. “We have a real mountain stage, we will know where we are. We have certainties but we cannot rely on data or watts. It's the race that decides and we won't be fully reassured until Monday evening or Tuesday, depending on the results, ”he explains. Thibaut Pinot, 30, will then participate in the Dauphiné, the French Championships (August 21 to 23) and then the Vuelta (October 20-November 8).
Hello Thibaut. 👋 # RDO2020 pic.twitter.com/3UXKuPJlV9- La Route d'Occitanie - La Dépêche du Midi (@RouteOccitanie) July 31, 2020
Bardet for fun. The leader of AG2R-la Mondiale is already showing up surrounded this Saturday by some of the climbers likely to accompany him on the Tour (Chérel, Cosnefroy, Gallopin, Latour). “We have just completed an excellent altitude training course in Val d'Isère,” declares Romain Bardet. After a long break, there is bound to be a lot of fun hanging up a bib. I am well aware that the whole peloton is eager to resume and we will have to expect a good offensive race. It is not time to focus on the result, simply resume the automatisms with friends. »Between now and the Tour, the 29-year-old Auvergnat will continue on the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge (August 6), the Dauphiné and the French Championships.
Newsletter - Most of the newsEvery morning, the news seen by Le Parisien
Your email address is collected by Le Parisien to enable you to receive our news and commercial offers. Learn more
Barguil has ants in his legs. The Breton from Arkea-Samsic is delighted to be able to wear the jersey of champion of France again. "I am very impatient to know where I am and if I still have little things to fine-tune for the Tour," says Warren Barguil, 28, who plans to run Milan-San Remo, the Dauphiné and the French Championships. I hope to achieve a good overall classification on this Route d'Occitanie. As for his teammate Nairo Quintana, injured in the foot in a traffic accident in early July, he is only expected on Ventoux on Thursday. “He was arrested for 10 days but everything will be back to normal for the Tour,” assures Emmanuel Hubert, manager of Arkea-Samsic.
The main races of the 2020 calendar
Strade Bianche (August 1); Milan-San Remo (August 8); Dauphiné Libéré (August 12 to 16); Tour of Lombardy (August 15); French Championships (August 23); Tour de France (August 29-September 20); World Championship (September 27); Tour of Italy (October 3 - October 25); Liège-Bastogne-Liège (October 4); Tour of Flanders (October 18); Tour of Spain (October 20-November 8); Paris - Roubaix (October 25).