He arrived at the headquarters of the Parisian - Today in France, boulevard de Grenelle, dragging his heavy suitcase behind him.
Less airy with his luggage than on certain slopes, the climber of Cofidis, 27, best Frenchman of the Tour (11th), however did not evade any question.
Especially not that of doping.
What is your assessment of your fourth Tour de France?
It is quite satisfactory.
I passed very close to the top 10 and a stage victory at Orcières-Merlette.
But, on the way, this Tour marks a real progression which cannot be seen in the standings.
I was half of the Tour on the podium, 9 seconds behind the yellow jersey.
I was an actor in a very high level Tour.
How do you explain this very high general level?
I can only speak about my case.
The confinement allowed me to regenerate myself.
I felt it in my body and my biological values.
I am cooler and have done two training courses at altitude.
This time, we saw a Tour with around fifteen riders in their best shape.
Look at the gap then.
The 16th is 55 minutes away.
End clap on @LeTour.
I finished at the gates of the top ten, but beyond the result it is the way I retain, full of promises for the future.
In the short term, it will be the World Cup in Imola 🇫🇷🌈🤞
A big thank you to my teammates and staff for these three weeks 🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/FfjZOHjTo3
- Guillaume Martin (@GuilmMartin) September 21, 2020
Did you like this extraordinary Tour?
I was not bored there as it has happened to me in the past.
From the inside, there was no quiet stage.
Maybe the boring tempo of the Jumbo-Visma didn't make the race telegenic, but in the peloton we were very busy.
And the absence of an audience?
I asked myself questions in Nice.
There was no one at the team presentation and when I arrived the electricity went off.
It was total silence.
I thought we were on an amateur race.
But, in the end, we sometimes found atmospheres worthy of the Tour.
There were also inconsistencies.
In Lyon, the climb to Croix-Rousse was packed with people, too many.
Three kilometers later, there was no one left.
Similar to Paris where we go from lots of people to nothing.
It didn't mean anything.
Can we hope in the future to see a Frenchman playing the podium?
I don't want to be peremptory.
Last year, we were the best with Alaphilippe and Pinot.
There, we are the worst in the world.
My generation still has good years.
And maybe the younger generation gets to the top very early on and I don't know if they have room for improvement.
In 2019, we were told Bernal left to win eight rounds.
And Pogacar will have the pressure to confirm.
It will be different for him.
And maybe the future French winner is Russian if Pavel Sivakov changes, as he has suggested, his nationality.
Newsletter - Most of the news
Every 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.
Do you understand the doubts surrounding Pogacar's performance?
Every year, the winner of the Tour is suspect.
This is the price of the murky past.
We have to live with it.
I cannot allow myself to have doubts and say to myself: "I am 11th but he or he is suspect.
Otherwise I get discouraged.
Even if I'm not naive: I wouldn't put my hand in the fire that the whole bunch is clean.
Afterwards, I see on social networks that some also doubt me even though I know exactly how I work.
I can do nothing against doubts.
If Pogacar is clean, it is terrible to be accused like this.
But in his team, some have a sulphurous past.
Isn't that offering an angle of attack to detractors?
I'm joining you.
One of the problems with our sport is that a large part of its leaders were in charge in the dark times.
It's embarrassing for credibility.
But, at the same time, the second chance exists.
We have the right to change and not to be sentenced for life.
Could you work with such people?
There is no straightforward ethical answer.
If I feel the sincerity of the repentant, I can say yes.
But it's a matter of feeling.
Would the Tour recover from a new doping case?
The Tour is recovering from everything.
He recovered from the Covid when we had said it would not take place.
I believe in human optimism.
Even another nasty blow won't bring him down.