His clash with Arnaud Démare did David Gaudu good, believes Cyrille Guimard, since it allowed the Breton climber to assert himself within Groupama-FDJ.
A few months after his fourth place in the Tour de France, David Gaudu achieved a performance of choice on Paris-Nice by taking the second final place, his best classification on a stage race at the World Tour level. Above all, when he had finished very far from Jonas Vingegaard on the Grande Boucle, more than 13 minutes away, the Breton took part in the battle for victory this time, ahead of the Dane of the Jumbo-Visma, and above all by being the runner who best resisted the ogre Tadej Pogacar.
In a way, David Gaudu has taken on a new status. “He made everyone happy, and I’m going to be clear: in Paris-Nice, Gaudu became the French number 1, even believes Cyrille Guimard in his column for Cyclism’Actu. Maybe he could have become one earlier, but we don’t rewrite history. What we will remember is that he took on the role of captain and that he became the leader of French cycling and his team. »
According to the Druid, it was above all within his own team that Gaudu asserted himself. His clash with Arnaud Démare, in January, has something to do with it. ” He did not become the leader of his team in Paris-Nice, but the day he made certain public statements, analysis Cyrille Guimard. That day, he allowed Marc (Madiot, general manager of Groupama-FDJ, editor’s note) to put the church back in the middle of the village. David did not make these statements by accident. They came from the heart, so not trivial. He lived badly in certain situations, he expressed it and the effect was beneficial. »
What about Pinot and Démare for the Tour?
In his rant, which was actually a conversation with friends on a public social network, Gaudu had confided that he did not like having Démare on the same races as him. On this Paris-Nice, the Breton was well supported (Geniets, Kung, Molard…) while the Picard, deprived of a train to take him, did not at all manage to exist during the sprints (10th, 10th and 18th of the grouped arrivals). This could lead Marc Madiot to question the advisability of taking Démare on the Tour de France…
In the same vein, Cyrille Guimard wonders if it would be useful to integrate Thibaut Pinot into the team that will compete in the Tour de France. As a reminder, the Franc-Comtois, who is playing his last season with the professionals, will line up in May for the Giro. “Pinot, he can bring something to Gaudu if he becomes a 100% team player, which he was not last year, reminds Guimard. He was trying to take the hits to win his stage, but he had never been present alongside David during the mountain stages. If it is to continue to race as in 2022, it is better to take a good teammate who will be useful to its leader. »