Just a week after a first victory on the Spanish heights, the Finistérien David Gaudu again raised his arms, in the cold and the rain, Saturday, November 7 during the penultimate stage of the Tour of Spain, from which he brings back a nice eighth place overall.
Will this final Spanish week play the role of trigger in his career, after a resounding debut in the Tour of the Future 2016? Restricted for three years to the role of luxury teammate of Thibaut Pinot, with some success in the 2019 Tour and in the throes of abandonment in 2020, the eternal hope finally had the keys to his team, Groupama FDJ, unique leader for the Vuelta.
“If I am a champion?” I don’t know, it’s still too early to tell he breathed after his second victory. In any case, it’s huge! Thibaut (Pinot) had won two stages the last time he came to the Vuelta (in 2018). I said to myself: “Why not me?” “
Convince him that he can be with the best
Since his arrival on the professional circuit, his sports director Marc Madiot has never stopped presenting him as the future successor of his current leader, Thibaut Pinot. His talent, especially when the road rises, has not escaped the radar of other great bosses of French cycling. “Gaudu, he’s the best you’ll see, he hasn’t always been lucky”, explained to The cross, Jérôme Pineau, the manager of the B § B Hotels-Vital Concept team, the day after the young Breton left the Tour de France, defeated by an injury during the first stage.
This step towards the big world that he hesitates to take, his boss at Groupama-FDJ Marc Madiot took briskly, Saturday evening November 7. “His performance will open his eyes. She will eventually convince him that he can be with the best for three weeks. I don’t think he doubted it, I think he needed to verify it. Psychologically, it won’t be the same. ” Words relayed in the columns of Telegram from Brest by its road captain, Thibaut Pinot.
“It’s his turn to be the leader on a grand tour”
For the Franc-Comtois, the Spanish episode of David Gaudu “Shows that his apprenticeship is finished”. “Now it’s his turn to become a leader on the Grand Tours. This is a very good thing for the Groupama-FDJ team. I am not surprised either, it shows from the beginning that he was made to be a leader. He just has to manage his days when he is a little less well. ” All the leaders know it, the great Tours are won on the feat of one day and on the management of effort and fatigue the other days. And also on the conviction that we can win.
David Gaudu’s record remains modest in terms of his displayed abilities: a second place in the Tour de l’Ain, a 13e rank in the Tour de France 2019 and some runners-up in the classics. With the Tour of Spain coming to the end of the season, he has all winter to consider his new status. At 24, he has no more time to waste: at his age, Laurent Fignon and Bernard Hinault had already brought the yellow jersey to Paris. Without forgetting that the Big Loop has been offered over the past two years to two kids even younger than him, Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogacar.