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Romain Bardet on Le Tour: I’m Still Very Hungry to Win

By Monica Buck

The AG2R La Mondiale rider opened up about his plans in an interview for L’Equipe. He admitted to feeling ‘completely dead’ after this year’s Tour. It seems, however, that he won’t give in to the fatigue and the pressure put on him by fans.

“I’ve not really won enough to feel any kind of requirement for a break. I’m still very hungry to win. I’m expecting to reach my peak between the ages of 28 and 32. I’m sure that the best is yet to come.”

Bardet, who is 28 now, finished sixth in Le Tour GC this year. That was a disappointment for the French public, as the AG2R La Mondiale pro finished second in 2016 and third in 2017. Nevertheless, Bardet himself doesn’t see it that dramatically.

“I don’t see this year’s Tour as a failure. I’m aware that my results can’t just be linear. But trying to win in Paris is what’s guiding my career. And I’m looking beyond that, too, because the Tour will
continue to guide me after I’ve stopped riding: I always learn a lot about myself during the difficult moments during the Tour.”

His team is considering a Giro-Tour double next year, and Bardet admits the Italian Grand Tour has always been part of his long-term plans.

“We’ll weigh up the pros and cons. It’s important that everyone on the team gives their point of view on it, and then we’ll decide at the training camp at the end of November, or soon afterwards, as my training in December will have to be adjusted accordingly.”

The Tour, however, is still the main goal for the Frenchman and he wouldn’t want to go there just to be a makeweight.

“I’d need to be going there as a contender, 100 per cent. Otherwise, I’d rather stay at home. Because of how much I love the Tour, and because of the expectation on my shoulders, I’d have to be going there with the intention of doing at least as well as I did in 2016 and 2017.”

Does Bardet have what it takes to win Le Tour? Let us know!