Théo Ouvrard: "The objective is to win a stage in the Giro d’Italia"
« Warren Barguil has been talking about the Giro d’Italia for a long time, and with enthusiasm”, says Yvon Caër. It’s a race he wants to do and that he has never had the opportunity to do. This year, he has the opportunity, even if the approach has been somewhat disrupted because of Covid-19. We all hope that his body will recover quickly. Nobody has forgotten that he has already won the Tour de France, the Vuelta Ciclista a España and that if he manages to win a stage in the Giro d’Italia, it will be extraordinary. Now it’s up to us to compose according to the profile of this race, and the opportunities that he will be able to seize so that he can express himself in the best way possible by enjoying himself, because that’s how he works ».
“Maxime Bouet, notes Yvon Caër, is the perfect example of a road captain. An experienced rider, he knows how to transmit his desire and his knowledge of races to the team. He is a key element. Maxime also provides strong support to Warren, and will be a catalyst for the young riders to pass on his experience of the Grand Tours. He will be a key part of our team during the weeks we will spend in Italy.
“David is a sprinter in the making, says Yvon Caër. He will not be racing his first Grand Tour. One of his objectives is to perform well in the sprints, but also to reach Rome at the end of the race. This will allow him to build up his confidence and move up a level. David is young, a sprinter in the making. At his age, he has the chance to be designated as the number one sprinter in an event such as the Giro d’Italia. This competition should give him the opportunity to complete his apprenticeship as a stage race sprinter”.
“Thibault Guernalec will be at the start of his second Grand Tour. He knows what he can and can’t do personally. And so, Yvon Caër says, he has become in a few weeks a very good team-mate for his leaders on the stage races. He also has good qualities in time-trials and in this Giro he will be able to test himself once more against the best in this discipline. He will have the role of team-mate with Warren, but also with the sprinters when necessary. His qualities as an all-round rider give him this double possibility. Thibault will also be able to play his personal card in certain circumstances. We want this group to be lively, to have a smile on its face, to be enthusiastic and not to be restricted in any way, while respecting the instructions that will be given for the benefit of the team ».
“Great first! Alan Riou will be lining up for the very first time in his career in a Grand Tour, on the occasion of this Giro d’Italia, says Roger Tréhin. He has been performing perfectly since the beginning of the season in his role as team-mate. This will be the status that we expect from him with Warren Barguil and David Dekker, especially before the sprints for the latter, because he has good qualities as a puncheur. He will also be able to take advantage of some free rides on certain stages”.
“Clément Russo is Warren’s partner! There is a real connection between them,” explains Roger Tréhin. He is also a very versatile team-mate who is appreciated by all. He will be one of the members of Warren Barguil’s close guard to protect him, to replace him. Afterwards, depending on the evolution of the race, Clément will be able to play his personal card in well-targeted circumstances. He can also help and guide David during the mass finishes, as he has already done with our sprinters in the Grand Tours.
« We are expecting Michel Ries to be Warren’s team-mate in the mountains. He will have to be present during the difficult finals, but also in the middle parts of them, in order to replace him, to ride for him if necessary. Michel will be an important part of our squad as soon as the road gets higher, and we expect a lot from him on a collective level”, Roger Tréhin notes.
“Alessandro Verre will ride his first Grand Tour, and what’s more, it will be the Giro d’Italia, so he will discover a three-week event on his home ground. There is no doubt that it will be an emotional moment for him on May 6th. Alessandro is a climber, so he will be expected to reinforce Warren in the mountains. He will also be able to get into the breakaway and to serve as a support for him in the final, why not hope to play his card on certain occasions, if the race scenario allows it. But like Michel, his first mission will be to support Warren”.
“This Giro d’Italia, the very first for the Arkea-Samsic team, is in line with our declared objectives on a Grand Tour: to obtain our very first stage win. This is our number one ambition, with the possibility of varying the objectives as the race develops, especially in the third week. Warren is one of the riders designated to go for this result, especially in the mountain stages. To do so would also allow him to enter the closed circle of riders who have won all three Grand Tours. He was hit by Covid after Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but his preparation was not too much affected. Other riders will also be able to take their chance depending on the circumstances. Alan Riou and Alessandro will start in a three week race. They have the physical qualities to tackle such a competition. In any case, they will be accompanied by experienced team-mates who will be able to advise them throughout the event. Group dynamics will also be important. Warren wants it to be more than just him as leader. He appreciates that the team, that his teammates live, seize moments of their own when it is decided. It’s also our notion of a group that lives well, and that can, by lift effect, bring the essentials that Warren will need at key moments in the race.