Tour des Alpes - Romain Bardet fait le plein de confiance à deux semaines du Giro

Tour des Alpes – Romain Bardet fait le plein de confiance à deux semaines du Giro

French cycling has seen darker days. The emotion was strong with the victory of Thibaut Pinot in Lienz, his first for more than 1000 days and his success in the Tourmalet during the Tour de France 2019. But this last act of the Tour des Alpes also, in a different register, brought another great satisfaction with the final victory of Romain Bardet. It will do a lot of good for the native of Brioude, not far from a Tour of Italy where he has decided to line up, with a certain ambition.

Thursday, the leader of Team DSM had returned to two small seconds of the green jersey, the Spaniard Pello Bilbao (Bahrain), thanks to a bonus garnered via his 3rd place behind Miguel Angel Lopez and Thibaut Pinot. He therefore had a good shot to play on Friday on the road to Lienz. In ambush in the peloton of favorites, Bardet controlled his direct opponent, before delivering the thrust in the final ascent of the week. But he drooled: “It was really a very difficult day today, very cold. Toughest of the whole week, so I’m really happy with this victory.”

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It’s his first final success in a stage race since… the Tour de l’Ain 2013. An eternity. If the final victory is his, the Frenchman can also thank his entire team, tactically impeccable. Marco Brenner first took the breakaway to prevent the DSM from working behind. Then Romain Bardet was able to count on a remarkable Thymen Arensman. The young Dutchman (22 years old) accompanied his leader during the decisive offensive and he also finished in 3rd place in the final general classification, in addition to the best youngster’s jersey.

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I’m even more satisfied with the way, savor Bardet. We had the perfect race, it was school cycling. I am proud of our team. It’s been two years of development and everyone has joined the project. Besides, we had driven a lot together with Thymen (Arensman) this winter. When I saw that we were together in this small group of three in front of the peloton at the end, I said to myself ‘It’s good, they won’t see us again’. And Thymen played his part really well“.

The two friends will be reunited again in May on the Giro, Romain Bardet’s main objective of the season. “Our priority will be to aim for the overall with Romain and we have guys in great shape to achieve this objective“, judge the sporting director Matt Winston. “On this Tour of the Alps, we showed that we had a big teamsavors Bardet. Having Thymen with me on the podium here is great and it gives us confidence for the future..”

The rest, for Romain Bardet, will first be Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday. On its form, it can hope for something. If he has not competed in the Doyenne for three years, it is the classic where he obtained his best results. A podium in 2018 (3rd) and three other top 10s (10th in 2014, 6th in 2015 and 2017). But it is of course the Tour of Italy, in two weeks, that he will be eagerly awaited. “The goal is not to put pressure on yourself, he told Eurosport this week. I want to arrive in Budapest (where this 2022 edition is starting) with 100% of my resources. As for whether I will do 5th, 6th or higher, I hope so…“After this Tour of the Alps, it’s hard to lower your ambitions.

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