Barguil won the Prix de la Combativite at this year’s Tour de France after winning two mountain stages and the polka-dot climber’s jersey. He also missed out on victory on the dramatic stage to Chambery, when he lost the sprint to Rigoberto Uran in a photo-finish after initially thinking he had won.
Barguil’s success was seen as heroic, particularly in France, because he had to recover from a fractured hip he suffered at the Tour de Romandie to even start the Tour de France. He was unable to target the overall classification as a consequence, but his stage victories and frequent shows of panache sparked ‘Wawamania’, especially with most of the peloton afraid to attack Chris Froome and Team Sky. The French cycling fans have fallen in love with Barguil’s Breton character and the way he not scared to take on the race.
On Wednesday evening Barguil rode a post-tour criterium in Camors, close to is home in Brittany. Despite the pouring rain, the Breton fans came out for a glimpse of their new hero. Barguil attended the same criterium in 2010 when Anthony Charteau won the polka-dot jersey, now he is the now signing the autographs and sparking debate.
“This year I discovered the pleasure of the early years of my career, when you didn’t need to know your watts to attack at the Tour de France. The public that loves cycling doesn’t enjoy watching races where everything is calculated by power metres. I wish things could change,” Barguil told L’Equipe after the Tour de France.
“I realised that I had to change things at last year’s Tour de France when I experienced some catastrophic moments, I didn’t enjoy it and was ready to quit the Tour. But, in moments like that, you have to question yourself. This year I realised I had more confidence in myself when I attacked rather than when I rode defensively. I doubt my ability when I’m in the peloton and let others control the race. I convince myself that I can’t stay with them.
Mixed messages about his future
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