Barguil: ‘I need this extra fat in Paris-Nice to avoid falling sick’; Jumbo to step up as new main sponsor of LottoNL-Jumbo team from 2019; Kruijswijk extends with LottoNL-Jumbo; Report: Cardoso’s b-sample inconclusive, but rider remains suspended; Cavendish back in training; DT Swiss launches two new cross and gravel wheels; Video: Sagan warms up for snowy Strade Bianche; Video: Movistar’s pro women’s team makes its debut; Video: Cyclist shrugs off snow
Barguil: ‘I need this extra fat in Paris-Nice’; new DT Swiss wheels: Daily News Digest
He won two stages plus the mountains jersey in last year’s Tour de France, then signed a contract to move from Team Sunweb to the French Fortuneo-Samsic squad. Warren Barguil is under pressure to deliver in 2018, but says that he has deliberately avoiding being in peak condition at this time of year.
“No-one puts more pressure on me than myself,” he said, speaking prior to Sunday’s start of Paris-Nice. “I’m not really the kind of rider who shines in the early season. It’s a pity because Paris-Nice is a race that could suit me well. Perhaps at some point in the future.”
Barguil said that he deliberately took it easier over the winter to make sure he is in better shape in the Ardennes Classics. Part of holding back means not being at his racing weight too soon. “I’m two kilos heavier than in the Tour because I need this extra fat in Paris-Nice to avoid falling sick,” he said. “Some riders can already put out the same power-to-weight ratio as in the Tour, but it’s hard for me at this point in the season. That said, I do expect to get better as the stages go by.”
Both Barguil and his team know that a podium in Paris-Nice would be huge early-season publicity. However the rider accepts that to do so at this point of the year would compromise his chances of being at his peak in the summer.
“I know I can’t shine in every single race. My goal in Paris-Nice is to finish in the top 15. I’m not in the form of my life, but I’ll grit my teeth to hold on. You never know, sometimes things go better than expected, that’s what happened last year and I finished strongly. My sights are firmly set on the Ardennes Classics because they’re a big objective that I really don’t want to mess up. I don’t want to be exhausted when I get there.”