15 September 2021

Warren Barguil 2nd of the Grand Prix de Wallonie

Warren Barguil took 2nd place in the Grand Prix de Wallonie, whose finish was judged at the top of the Citadelle of Namur.

On the line

“The Grand Prix de Wallonie went rather well with a second place at the top of the Citadelle of Namur. Of course I would have preferred to win than to finish second. The Arkéa-Samsic team had a hard time, but all the guys did a great job for me and I thank them for that. We managed to get back on track by riding behind the group that had broken away from the peloton. At the foot of the last climb, Matîs was still with me in the lead. He attacked at the five hundred meter mark in order to continue to increase the pace. Anthony was unlucky, he put his waistcoat through his derailleur in the middle of the fight. This was a big loss for me because he would have helped me at the bottom of the last climb. After that, I tried to get the win by passing on the left side of the road, but Christophe Laporte is faster than me in the sprint. There is no photo. Second place is good for the Arkéa-Samsic team, but it is clear that I would have preferred to win this race where I was already third…”.

“I attacked in the final, knowing that I had dropped on the penultimate climb of the day. I was in the second group, close to the first one and I was a bit limited. With my group, we made the junction with five kilometres to go. It had been planned in the briefing that Warren would ride the sprint and that I would attack in the final part of the race if I had the possibility to do so, in order to increase the pace before the last climb and to make the sprinters less aggressive. That’s what I did, but as I said, I came back at the limit, I had the beginning of cramps. It went up a lot at the beginning of the climb, but afterwards, because the leaders were not surrounded by their team-mates, it became harder. At one point, I saw an opening in front of me, and I launched myself. I knew that I didn’t have much in reserve, but nothing is worth trying. This allowed the group to accelerate and to start the finish, and who knows, behind them they could have looked at each other and I could have gone alone. The most important thing is that my action allowed Warren to take the second place in this Grand Prix de Wallonie”.

Roger Tréhin, Sport-Director

 The debrief

“The Arkéa-Samsic team showed solidarity and gave Warren a good hand by following the instructions. It is important to know that our leader had a puncture with about twenty-five kilometres to go, which forced us to activate the “emergency” plan! This morning during the briefing we had also decided to play the card of Warren in the final, and that Matîs should attack, if he had the possibility to do so in the final, in order to destabilize the sprinters, and to facilitate Warren’s one. Which he did. By trying to overtake on the left, Warren tried to win and not to finish second. He fought until the end, but inherently Christophe Laporte is faster than him on a finish of this type. We have optimised our strengths in this race and restored the headwind that blew for us at a certain moment, especially with this puncture that happened very close to the money-time of this Grand Prix de Wallonie”.