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The former coach of the France National Team, Cyrille Guimard, is back on Cyclism’Actu with a new interview (see above link for the original and integral interview) published by François Bonnefoy. In the interview, he spoke about the first part of the season and touched various hot topics such as the postponement of Paris-Roubaix, the racist attacks suffered by Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic), the possible arrival of Peter Sagan at Deceuninck – Quick Step and the new controvertial UCI regulations.

On the three months of competition, Guimard said that the season started with some very good races, both stage races like Paris-Nice or Tirreno, but also in one-day races and Monuments. The expected domination of Mathieu van der Poel, Wout Van Aert and Julian Alaphilippe, was ofter offset by surprises like in the two Monuments, when were held in check by Stuyven and Asgreen.

Guimard also invited to be careful in judging Alaphilippe, which seemed to be inferior to Van der Poel and Van Aert in the first part of the season. “One week to the next the performance levels can change.” He stated adding that in his opinion the Frenchman could be better equipped for the Ardennes. Guimard was also pleased with Anthony Turgis, that in his opinion, must avoid the slightest mistake to be fully competitive and Florian Sénéchal, could have run a great Paris-Roubaix.

He is sceptical on the postponement of the Paris-Roubaix, “what will happen in six months?”, inviting everybody to remain objective and watch things as they happen and struggling to find consistency and common sense in many decisions taken recently on cycling events. He also agrees with Marc Madiot worrying on the impact on organisers of the “smaller” races in France, adding that many races in France are canceled while abroad they run normally.

Questioned on what is happening around Nacer Bouhanni, Giumard felt that there was no will by Bouhanni to bring down Stewart and that he paid for his fault without dispute. Therefore he was puzzled by the sudden additional sanction by UCI and referring to the fact that we are still traumatised by what happened last year on the Tour of Poland, invited to eliminate the emotional part when taking decisions at that level. He then added that the racism affair that we are talking about in these days is for Bouhanni like the third sanction, and that what is going on on social media it’s disgusting.

Guimard carried on speaking of common sense and intelligence also when talking on the exclusion of Michael Schär from the Tour of Flanders following his out-of-zone canister throw. “I am for the application and the respect of the rules, but not at all costs.”

To conclude, Guimard was asked his opinion on the rumor about Peter Sagan joining Deceuninck – Quick Step next year. “We love each other and at one point there is the wear of time which makes us love each other a little less,” he said, adding that it’s been two or three years that Peter Sagan has had less desire, that he seems to be bored on the bike. Therefore, “he may need to move to find motivation.” Guimard it is not sure Deceuninck – Quick Step is where Sagan will go to but invites all to follow this story like a soap opera just for a bit of extra fun.