Was the Alaphilippus rainbow expected after the flood?
It was finally his teammate Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck) who emerged in the torrential rain of Épinal to afford a second tricolor jersey, a year after wearing blue-white-red in the time trial.
What revenge for the “
Three days after giving up his title on the stopwatch to Benjamin Thomas (Groupama-FDJ), at the end of which he had modestly classified 23rd, he seized a new distinctive tunic thanks to a sharp attack carried to 14 km from the finish of a race that counted 242.9 in total.
Everything went wrong Thursday, I was very disappointed.
This morning I was motivated, but I really did not think
”to impose myself, commented Cavagna at a press conference.
By the way, he deprived Groupama-FDJ of a resounding double, after Marc Madiot's proteges monopolized the podium during the time trial.
On Sunday, the defending team with Arnaud Démare was content with second place, which Rudy Molard secured in the sprint in front of Damien Touzé (AG2R Citroën), already third in 2019.
The French championships offered a very different scenario from that of last year, which saw the collective power of Groupama-FDJ rewarded with the third national title of sprinter Arnaud Démare.
The race was launched with a morning break of 13 riders, including 2019 French champion Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) and climber Pierre Rolland (BB Hotels).
Also present within the group of fugitives, Cavagna seemed to be the ideal launching pad for Alaphilippe, especially as the peloton never allowed the gap to widen significantly.
The world champion has launched a counter-offensive 35 kilometers from the finish in the ascent of the main difficulty of the circuit (Côte de la Vierge, 2.5 km at 6% average slope).
He was joined by - in particular - David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) but the breakaways held firm.
Bodes well for Tokyo
Bodes well for Tokyo
Slower in the sprint than some of his companions on the run, Rémi Cavagna placed his decisive banderilla at the start of the last lap.
The lack of direct reaction from the leading men was fatal to them, in the face of the Auvergnat's rolling qualities.
Winner of an individual time trial at the Tour de Romandie at the beginning of May, Cavagna (25) won his second victory of the season in the Vosges.
A success that bodes well just a month before the Tokyo Olympics, for which his selection has not yet been formalized but there is little doubt.
Five places for Japan are to be taken but only one rider will defend the colors of France in the time trial.
Cavagna, seventh in the last World Championships, seems to be the best French chance to win a medal.
The Auvergnat will be able to concentrate on this objective all the better as he confirmed on Sunday that a selection for the Tour de France, which will start on Saturday in Brest, was very unlikely.
After earning the right to carry the flag on your back, head for the rings!