Is being on a French team limiting for French GC rider

Mar 11, 2009
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There is an article today where Bardet is talking about the Giro, but his manager is pooh poohing the idea. I believe the same happened with Pinot. The list of French riders who have and could podium at a Tour was pretty sparse until the last few years. It seems that because of their sponsors/teams it is mandatory they ride the Tour in their best possible form. In the last few years Froome, Contador and Quintana for one reason or another have gone to the Vuelta for the win, the Giro is the best chance for someone else to win a Grand Tour at the moment. It seems like a waste of an opportunity, though I guess considering the way their teams are constructed it is a Catch 22. If they went elsewhere would they be A listed, perhaps not, but they would get to ride a more diverse calendar. A BMC might give them the Giro, as one example, though the Tour would not be in the cards with the Anglo focus and Porte and VanGarderen (prior to this season at least).
 
I dont think going against a giro-tour double is a french problem. Its just common sence that its quite stupid to do the Giro-Tour double. At best it can work in a Majka-type way, but even that is a semi-waste of a Grand Tour for him and he is the best case.

Of course though some french riders definetly would get a better chance to try for a Giro-Vuelta double instead if not on a french team, and for topriders that still has little chance to win the TDF that would indeed often be a better option.

But I suppose its the riders decision. The french team will likely give them a bigger paycheck and the Tour will always be the most important, but if they want to try the Giro they has plenty of options to change to a foreign team. And also its hard to blame the teams. For them the tourfocus for their stars will always be the best option despite the results on paper might be better without it.
 
The leading French GC riders need to join Non-French teams - Doubt there will be a much difference in salary - The bigger issue is new French GC type riders joining the peleton - Some may develop better in a foreign team - Riders are good enough and they can always move back to French teams.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I think maybe they outgrow the French teams. I don't think they would be allowed to develop or given as much space on other teams though. Look at Pinot and his descending issues.

That said I think that a top rider does not have to be Tour or bust every year. Look at Aru. He does not have to make the Tour the focus of his season every year. Even Chaves for that matter. If we go a tick down Kelderman, Domoulin of Kruiswick all have not been Tourcentric.
 
Nick C. said:
There is an article today where Bardet is talking about the Giro, but his manager is pooh poohing the idea. I believe the same happened with Pinot. The list of French riders who have and could podium at a Tour was pretty sparse until the last few years. It seems that because of their sponsors/teams it is mandatory they ride the Tour in their best possible form. In the last few years Froome, Contador and Quintana for one reason or another have gone to the Vuelta for the win, the Giro is the best chance for someone else to win a Grand Tour at the moment. It seems like a waste of an opportunity, though I guess considering the way their teams are constructed it is a Catch 22. If they went elsewhere would they be A listed, perhaps not, but they would get to ride a more diverse calendar. A BMC might give them the Giro, as one example, though the Tour would not be in the cards with the Anglo focus and Porte and VanGarderen (prior to this season at least).
Problem for AG2R is that Lavenu himself came up with the idea of doing the 2017 Tour of Italy instantly! Now, with his second place at the Tour, Bardet has confirmed himself as a potential grand tour winner and leader. Apparently he sees himself with realistic chance to do so in Italy against Aru and Nibali. Rightfully so, imho!

If Bardet absolutely wants to do the Giro he's gonna be allowed to do so. He's the big man at AG2R now and he calls the shots. Otherwise he should race the Tour of Basque Country upcoming spring instead of Trento and try to add a first major overall victory there to his palmares.
 
Oct 5, 2016
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l do think that Romain needn't to focus on the 100e Giro.The length of ITT means he must attack more in mountains.As a rookie for Italian race,it's hard to imagine he can gain enough time from Aru and even Nibali.It's essential for French GC riders to change the strategy.However,overlooking the advantages and disadvantages of a rider is ridiculous.Illogical calenders not only hurt riders,but also do harm to the whole teams.Don't forget AG2R and FDJ fight for grading almost every year.
 
I imagine that being a French rider on a French team is a bit of a double edged sword.

A French team with a French sponsor is always going to find huge value in having a French rider on the TdF podium (or as a stage winner), and that can't be matched for those teams/sponsors even by riders winning other races, especially non-French ones.
So the team/sponsor will always prioritise the TdF.

Some of that is good for the rider, of course - I imagine lower-tier French riders get preferential treatment on French teams when it comes to being selected for the TdF team. And if they do win a stage or make the podium, there's probably some very big rewards for them, both from the team and through endorsements.

But for riders like Bardet & Pinot, who have the ability and ambition to win races across the calendar and not just in France, it must be limiting. And probably more than a little frustrating.

But at the end of the day, they're employees of the teams, and will do what they're told. And despite Lavenu making noises to the contrary, realistically it's very unlikely that Bardet is going to be allowed to do anything that may compromise his TdF.
We, and Bardet, may know that his overall palmares may be boosted by a tilt at the Giro, and that he may not be at a level to realistically win the TdF against Froome/Quintana et al. I would personally love to see him have a crack at the Giro. But AG2R won't likely care too much about that - they'll care an awful lot more about having his face (and jersey) plastered across French newspapers, billboards & TV stations in July, and about drumming up hype over him being the successor to Hinault and the next great French hope, whether he actually achieves a result or not...

I hope that he & Pinot, in time, escape the French bubble, join a foreign team, and give other races a shot. Like a more successful version of Rolland!
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I was pleasantly surprised to see Pinot's decision to race for GC in the Giro. Sometimes it's good to be wrong in one's assumption/analysis.
 

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