“I’m not the type who has been waiting for an invitation for weeks,” confides the man who raised his arms eight times at the Grande Boucle. I’m going on vacation very early and I have a very busy schedule between my business, the project. team I carry (see below) and my family whom I want to give a time I didn’t always have when I was a runner, but this absence is in no way due to any resentment.
The enthusiasm with which Spartacus aroused our race for the yellow jersey is without a doubt the best proof of this.
Fabià, what has inspired you so far to start this Tour de France?
“I found it very interesting in its development, as each day gave birth to a very different scenario. For example, I have to admit that I didn’t see Yves Lampaert’s success coming to the inaugural time trial in Copenhagen. It’s a shame the wind isn’t invited to the Great Belt Bridge, but Jakobsen and Groenewegen’s sprint victories were a good look at fate … “
Did you like the route of the fifth stage that offers just over 19 kilometers of cobblestones?
“Yes, it was extremely spectacular and I think it’s for these types of races that people sit in front of the TV for several hours. From specialists in classics like Stuyven to aspirants to the final podium in Paris, a large number of riders with quite different profiles gave it their all. As we often say, no one has won the Tour in the northern sectors, but some, like O’Connor for example, have probably already lost it … A chaos that, for a while, forcibly invaded the Jumbo- team. Visma. impression left by the Bora-Hansgrohes, there are many lessons to be learned. “
Can Pogacar win Paris-Roubais? With him, you never have to say never …
One of them is the facility of Tadej Pogacar in this field. Did it surprise you?
“No, I expected him to behave with this form of ease on the cobblestones. His performance in the last Tour of Flanders, a race he was discovering, I remind you, showed his ability to adapt. The Slovenian is an amazing rider, very special.On Thursday, in Longwy, he obviously hit hard with his stage victory and an impressive sprint.But beyond that, it’s mostly the way he’s already established a form of confidence within of their team which I find remarkable.When they see that their leader is already imprinting their imprint on the event in this way, I think their partners will be a little more inclined to take the shine out. doing all his rivals now is like beating him (smiles) … “
Can you imagine being able to win Paris-Roubaix?
“No, I don’t think so. Paris-Roubaix is a one-day race with a very different scenario that brings together all the classic specialists from the North. What it has shown this week is already fantastic. But with a phenomenon like this, no nothing can be sworn in. And you will never hear me say about Pogacar (laughs)… “
Wout van Aert was one of the great players of this first week of the race. What did you think of his start at the Grande Boucle?
“I still follow cycling very closely and I wouldn’t say, therefore, that I was impressed by the good and simple reason that I know what I can be capable of. We are talking about Wout van Aert, one of the best runners in the world! The blow to Cap Blanc-Nez was, however, a very pleasant tactical maneuver. The way his teammates led him, the sharpness of his attack, his loneliness: it was great! “
Did you know that you were, before him, the last winner of a solo stage on the mountain?
“Yes, in Compiègne in 2007, I still remember the final. But my maneuver did not have the same intention. Van Aert’s good play was very clearly planned, while my goal was more simply to defend my shirt and not necessarily win the stage. He had wanted to anticipate a massive sprint by accelerating and had managed to keep a small gap over Zabel as he crossed the line. It was really a surprise success. “
Do you think the Belgian can beat your number of days in yellow, 29, a record for a runner who has never won the Tour?
“In any case, it has the qualities to shine in many terrains. So why not? The records are made to beat, you know. But beyond those numbers, your compatriot is very good at cycling. As in Pogacar or van der Poel for example. These champions give another dimension to our discipline with their way of running, their desire, their sense of the show. So I say loud and clear thank you Wout, thank you Tadej, thank you Mathieu how should the bike do! I won three Tours of Flanders, but if van der Poel won five, I assure you I would be the first to take his hat off. To each his own time and epoch (laughs)! ”
The Tour will take place over the weekend in Switzerland. What do these two days in your country mean to you?
“I sincerely hope it will be a great popular success. Such events always have the power to make things happen and create vocations. Therefore, I hope that this will encourage the political world to make life a little easier for the organizers of Sometimes it is extremely difficult to obtain the necessary permits to close roads, for example, it is very good to attract the largest race in the world to focus on our country in terms of tourism and participate in the development of the use. of the bicycle, but this vision must also last longer to be consistent in the media.and facilities for discipline.It is always a story of a virtuous circle.We need races, opportunities to supervise the youth of in a safe way ”.