David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) will be at the start of the Bretagne Classic, in Plouay, next Sunday. “I did not go to recce the course, Valentin (Madouas) did it, he will explain everything to us. And the sporting director Frédéric Guesdon will give us the proper briefing. There are small roads, be careful with the placement! A ribin, too, which will be a strategic place, it is not necessarily to displease him. It stays in Plouay’s mind, ”the 24-year-old climber explained at a press conference on Friday.
“It’s a recovery so I’ll see where I am. I hope to be in a fight in the end, we have a card with Valentin, if he is feeling very well, I will not hesitate to sacrifice myself for him. But it is sure that the first acceleration after 220 kilometers, I might feel it! I need some rhythm, starting over with a longer race is undoubtedly an advantage because we have time to get back into the mix. After the 220 km, I hope to be in the game. “
David Gaudu returned to his season, which peaked in April with victory in the queen stage of the Tour of the Basque Country in Arrate, ahead of Primoz Roglic, and his 3rd place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, behind Tadej Pogacar and Julian Alaphilippe.
Asked to assess his record of the Tour de France (11th), with a note, he replied: “I put myself 5 and ½ out of 10. There were days without, like the Ventoux, mistakes in Andorra and Luz Ardiden … The rest was consistent. “
Criticized on social networks for his wait-and-see attitude during the Olympic race in Tokyo (7th), he did not try to avoid the subject: “I understand the reactions, it was more the Belgians who resented me, they were disappointed for Van Aert (2nd). We discussed at length with Thomas (Voecker) before the race: if I was with riders faster than me in the sprint, it was useless for me to ride. If I had driven to finish in the same 7th place, I would have been criticized too. It went a little bit above me. I did my race, I respected the coach’s instructions. “
After the Bretagne Classic, David Gaudu will compete in three consecutive events in eastern France: the Classic Grand Besançon-Doubs (September 3), the Tour du Jura (September 4) and the Tour du Doubs (September 5) .
He will participate in a stage race, the Tour de Luxembourg (September 14-18) to prepare for the Italian campaign. “The Tour of Lombardy (October 9) is the big goal for my end of the season. With Milan-Turin, it’s a week that I like, which has been successful for me. “
“What changes for me in the team is that I will be expected more, not just for one race, for one year, but for the rest of my career (he is under contract until the end of 2023 with Groupama -FDJ). I will be expected as one of the leaders. I’m very happy to see Thibaut (Pinot) come back, it’s also good for the team too, I can’t wait to use it. I learned the role of leader from him in 2019 and 2020, our duo is working pretty well. I can’t wait to see what we can do together in the future. “