Will the sixth attempt from the sprinter who arrived at Cofidis this year be the right one? His two victories at the start of the season (in the Tour de Provence and at the Etoile de Bessèges), after crossing the desert for more than a year and a half, may prove that Bryan Coquard is on the verge of winning his first stage of the Tour. Interview with Le Quotidien Du Sport and Cyclisme magazine.
What does this 6th Tour de France look like for you on your new team?
Winning again at the start of the season made me a good world. When you arrived at Cofidis, it was clearly the priority goal: raise your arms as fast as possible. It’s done, now I can move on and plan the rest of the season.
What is the part of your team change in this revival?
Between the discovery of a new way of training, new teammates, new coaches … that was all that made it possible for me to reconnect to victory. Maybe I would have achieved that too by staying at the B&B. Last season was very difficult for me and I was able to understand what was not working, so act accordingly. We can speak from experience, I think.
Bryan Coquard ready for a big explanation at the Tour de France with the sprinters
Are these good feelings a game-changer this season for you?
I am already very happy to find my best level and to be able to express myself at the highest world level with the tenfold desire to continue the season at this momentum. After a necessary break in April, I had the Tour de Suisse, the French Championships and the Tour de France in my sights.
What has changed between your position at B&B and that at Cofidis?
I joined a team with a lot of leaders, Martin or Izaguirre for the general classifications of the difficult races, and quite a few sprinters. After the start of the season, I got wind of the fact that Cédric Vasseur had declared in the press that I had taken the lead among the sprinters …
It’s encouraging. I also appreciate not having all the pressure from the team on my shoulders, as was the case at the B&B when we arrived for a race. It does not prevent me from often having my card to play, while I have great collective ambitions and the opportunity to change strategy along the way, if I feel worse, because behind the young people grow, just like Zingle.
“Winning a stage would be enough to make me happy”
How do you approach this tour with more ambition than usual?
This will of course be a big goal. My season is clearly focused on the Tour. When I see Arnaud Démare win the Giro, my legs go crazy (laughs)!
It was important that I show that I am able to win in the first part of the season to be competitive in the second part. This tour I will be back to win a stage. Honestly, that would be more than enough to make me happy.
What did you think of the course when you discovered it?
I always thought it was the runners who ran races and not the other way around. That said, it’s going to be tough for the sprinters because the track is hilly, dotted with pitfalls, with quite a few arrivals at altitude.
There will be few opportunities, we must not miss them. It will be difficult to get out unscathed from the first week, because in Denmark there will definitely be a crash. In the beginning, you have to control the pressure, the nervousness … it’s part of the game, and I can not wait to be there.
Laurent Jalabert’s opinion
” Guillaume Martin arrives late after his Giro. We have to see how he recovers. He often makes an effort before the hard stages and he gets stuck when he is there. It’s a safe game to finish as number 10. I would be happy for him if he snatched a better place than Top 10. But with the Giro in hand it will not be easy. After Izagirre, Coquard or Thomas, they are able to take good stages. They are a team that would be happy with a stage victory.