Maëva Squiban will be one of the youngest in the Tour de France, which will leave from Paris, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, next Sunday. “There were twelve of us for six places. Everyone dreamed of being there. I hope to honor my selection and my shirt.” said by DirectVelo on the sidelines of the Anadia European Championship, in Portugal (read here). If it is modest, the selection of Maëva Squiban was, in fact, without a doubt inside the Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime. With two Top 10 stages at the Tour de Brittany, two Top 20s during the Morbihan weekend, an 8th place at the Alpes Grésivaudan Classic and then a Top 20 overall at the Tour de Suisse, the Finistérienne is a force to be reckoned with of his training. . “She is one of the best French hopefuls, like other girls in our group. This is the future of French cycling”he is satisfied with his coach, Jean-Christophe Barbotin. “If someone had told me that I would do the Tour at the age of 20, it would have been hard for me to believe it. It’s huge, it’s going to be great!”rejoices her father, Mikaël, who will go to Paris to support his daughter during the great start of the event, then in the following stages, not yet knowing if she will make it to the end.
“WE HAD TO PUSH IT”
And to think that it all started by forcing the young woman’s hand. Originally a track and mountain bike enthusiast, Maëva Squiban wasn’t really drawn to the road during her younger cycling years. “Immediately we detected a natural strength in her, it was clearly visible. But the road did not appeal to him at all, although he was quickly told that he had the potential to walk well on the road.”remembers François Bramoullé, who has known the young woman since Minimes 1 and who trained her for a long time, although he continues to follow her closely and play an important role today. “I remember we had to push her to compete in the French Cadets Championship”. In 2017, Maëva Squiban reluctantly decided to compete in a few road races. Two-three in Brittany, in his homeland, then the Tour d’Auvergne, he finished in 6th position. A few weeks later, he won nothing less than the national title in Saint-Amand-Montrond, in the Cher, being Cadette 1 (watch the arrival video). “But she stayed the same. She didn’t believe it and said she would never win another race, in the blue-white-red jersey. For her, it was impossible.”, smiles François Bramoullé. The following year, however, he confirmed all his talent by winning the Cup of France Cadettes. “It was from this moment that she began to reconsider her positions and consider a career in cycling, although she remains focused and serious in her studies”.
Since then, the former licensee of AC Gouesnou has often shown precocity. Specifically during the Tour de l’Ardèche 2020, when he competed on the seven days of the race, at the age of 18, as a professional trainee (read here). “He has always had the habit of crossing the stage before many others. He had constantly attacked Ardèche. Maëva is not afraid”, testifies Jean-Christophe Barbotin. Little by little, the Breton athlete is building his nest, without making any noise. “It is his everyday character. He will never show off or brag about what he does. If he doesn’t know people, he won’t chat easily. It’s shyness, it’s reserved”confirms his father, Mikaël. “But she is ready to take responsibility with the bike and I know she has already started. She has left her mark, she no longer hesitates to call out to the team, with other girls, if something goes wrong. At first, she wasn’t too bold in front of girls with more experience than her, but she’s starting to come around”continues about his daughter. “She doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself, in the sense that maybe she doesn’t yet feel legitimate or in her place among the best, who have a much longer track record, adds Jean-Christophe Barbotin. But he will come, he is still very young. She has to grow up. He just turned 20, let’s not forget that. For now, she’s still in awe of her surroundings. But be careful, she has the cash register, that’s for sure”.
“SHE WILL NEVER COMPLAIN”
Maëva Squiban is discreet in everyday life, but that doesn’t make her any less ambitious. “It’s a hard job, it can be very bad. I dragged her behind a scooter more than once and I can assure you she never resists the task. But she doesn’t exaggerate either. She always kept what she was told. Sometimes he looks at his training program and says: ” Do I only have this? ». She will never complain”says François Bramoullé. “She’s tough with evil. Whether it’s hot or cold… Whether she comes home soaked, it doesn’t matter. She’ll always ride and she knows why”confirms Michael.
ESTAPS student in Brest for two years – will do third year in Poitiers to make life easier, travel etc. -, Maëva Squiban will therefore rub shoulders with the best in the world, from Sunday, on the roads of the Tour de France. “As soon as she can go on offense, she has to go. She has to rediscover that instinct that she’s lost a little bit. She held back in some races because it’s important for her team to get places and score. But she’s able to to run”considers François Bramoullé, who refers especially to the last Tour de Suisse, where the young woman had defended on the last day a 16th place in the general classification. “I hope she can advance in one or more stages. I’m sure she wants to go to the coal, to try. We are not immune to a pleasant surprise. She has already surprised us more than once”press
“THE BETTING WILL NOT PRINT IT”
“I imagine he will try to escape, to show himself. There should be no inferiority complex”, throws his father. How does the team manager imagine Maëva Squiban’s Tour de France? “It’s in his nature to go shoot. He is a good puncher. I’m sure she won’t be impressed with the stakes. Once there, maybe the pressure will suddenly increase. Certainly even. But for now, I feel calm and she can do beautiful things”.
During the Tour de France, Mikaël Squiban, François Bramoullé and some members or club presidents from Finisterre will continue to talk on social networks, in a thread called ” Fan Club Maeva Squiban ». Without taking himself seriously, with just pride and happiness to see his little one protected on the roads of the most beautiful race in the world. Meanwhile, Maëva Squiban has spent the last few days “practically confined”, so as not to run the slightest risk of catching Covid-19. After having made a last long outing of five hours, she accumulated the short night outings, at 9 pm, she who spent the last few days in Gironde, where it is particularly hot. “The basic work has been done, his father is satisfied. Now all he has to do is turn his legs and wait for D-day”.
To trace the (young) career of Maëva Squiban, Click here to (re)discover all the articles dedicated to Finisterre since 2019.