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Cyrille Guimard returns with his comments on cycling topics: this time on Olympics results for the French team, la Vuelta and on Thibaut Pinot return.

 On the Olympic Games, Guimard expressed his totally disappointment. The team objective was not to get two bronze medals since the expectation were much higher. He stated that: on track one of the two medals was only thanks to a big mistake by the Australians in the team sprint event (the other was in the Madison); in mountain biking women event, they where the clear favourites to win gold and silver, but obtain nothing; in BMX, the three riders able to gain access to the finals all finish 4th. Guimard thinks that for the Paris 2024 Games, the French Cycling Federation need to work hard and rethink their approach in the three years before the next Games. 

Talking on how the Vuelta will be ride, Guimard pointed out that thing are getting more complicate then in the past. In and not only on the Tour de France, there where a limited number of sprint finish. The race was marked by breakaways with several solo arrive. Even in the road race of the Olympic Games, Richard Carapaz arrived alone. In Guimard’s opinion the is a new culture of competition in place and controlling a breakaway is becoming impossible.

Questioned on Primoz Roglic taking a third victory in a row, he thinks that he can certainly do it but he has to watch out Egan Bernal, who can benefit from the strength of his team. In addition, he hopes great things by Alejandro Valverde who,” can still do great things”, and by some French riders: Guillaume Martin and Romain Bardet although he is not sure if they will be able to reach the podium.
On Thibaut Pinot, now happy on his bike and ready to restart from the Tour du Limousin, Guimard hopes that from this first race, French rider will be able to play a role in the GC. Since last year’s Tour de France, Pinot career has been marked by physical problems, but now he heard that “he was motivated like a cadet”, and therefore his determination can be a key point of his restart.

Finally on Julian Alaphilippe, Guimard expressed his admiration for the Frenchman. Currently, he is the only French top ten rider. Behind him, Romain Bardet, Guillaume Martin, Rémi Cavagna and Thibaut Pinot if at his highest level, “French cycling needs him back!” The fans and even the French people need it too. And for the moment, “we have Julian Alaphilippe who can make 50 million French people dream, but that’s all. In France, as soon as a rider becomes a champion, he becomes a star. Here, we only have one: Julian Alaphilippe.”

Chronicle – Guimard: on Tokyo Olympics

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Former French team coach Cyrille Guimard, is back on Cyclism’Actu with a new interview (see above link for the original and integral interview) where this time he speaks about the Olympic road race, his favourites, the French chances and the time trial on 28 July.

On the road race, Guimard doesn’t hesitate to say that it is a beautiful course for an Olympic Games, but with a maximum of five riders, it will be complex to control the race. The course is very tough and open to many solutions, including a regrouping in the final. When asked to name his race favourites, Guimard preferred to be a bit vague, pointing out that a number of riders flew in on Sunday evening only to race five days later and a possible prediction must consider how any individual will be able to recover from the twelve-hour flight, the time difference, the high temperatures, the high humidity etc etc. For him, it is obvious that all the attention from the start will be on Van Aert and Pogacar, the clear favourites, and for the bronze there are 25 names for 3rd place.

For the time trial, he feels that the favourites will be Ganna, Kung, Evenepoel and Van Aert. Today Cavagna is in the top six, but not in the top three. But with this said Cavagna should focus and go for a medal.

Chronicle – Guimard: on Tour de France

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Cyrille Guimard, is back on Cyclism’Actu with a new interview (see above link for the original and integral interview) where he speaks about the 108th edition of the Tour de France which begins this Saturday. Winner of seven Tours as sporting director, the Druid knows this event like the back of his hand, and for him, the main favorite is Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates). But Guimard also believes in the chances of Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step), who could take advantage of a favourable race course.

Guimard has a clear favourite: Tadej Pogacar and he will feel a fierce competition from his compatriot Primoz Roglic, hiding after the Liegi, the INEOS Grenadiers block on this Tour with Richard Carapaz, Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte, but none of them superior to Roglic or Pogacar. Behind these five riders, there is Julian Alaphilippe and then, depending on the circumstances of the race: Miguel Angel Lopez, Rigoberto Uran, Jakob Fuglsang, Nairo Quintana, Guillaume Martin, Michael Woods, Wilco Kelderman, David Gaudu, Enric Mas.

Guimard then went to express his opinion on Julian Alaphilippe chances to do well in the general classification. He is convinced that all favourites from the start can have some difficulties and lose time depending on the race events and Julian Alaphilippe could have the possibility to play his card. “He is doing well in the time trial, he is more than a good climber, very good descender and he has a very good team.”

In his opinion, at INEOS, the most legitimate leader seems to be Carapaz. Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte are 35 and 36 years old respectively and Carapaz, who won the Giro two years, is 28-year-old. Its victory on the Tour de Suisse confirms its legitimacy ambitions.

Guimard carried on speaking on:

  • David Gaudu, that can aim to a top 5 position, even if he has a limit on time trials
  • Chris Froome, that returns two years after his terrible accident and he is today average rider but he can ride the Tour, probably his last Guimard said, with full honour, even if he doesn’t win anything
  • Mathieu Van der Poel, on his first Tour de France, Guimard expects him to stop before the mountain because he is aiming for the Olympics. He should focus on the first two stages in Brittany, where even with opponents like Alaphilippe and Wout Van Aert, he can aim for the yellow jersey. Van der Poel really cares about the yellow jersey, as a mark of respect for his grandfather, Raymond Poulidor, who never wear it.
  • Wout Van Aert could aim for the green jersey. He will ride for Roglic so that limits him for the green jersey. But, since he can perform well in the mountains and he is a time trial specialist, there are no surprises if he gets on the top sixth of the general classification.

Finally for the podium Guimard predicts first Pogacar, second Carapaz and Alaphilippe third, with a question mark on Roglic.

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