Emmanuel Hubert: "a turning point in the progress of the Team Arkéa-Samsic"
For the first time since its creation, Arkéa-Samsic will compete in a second Grand Tour in the season. The Vuelta a España, in this case, with the team leader Nairo Quintana aiming to win stages and the general classification. Sébastien Hinault and Yvon Ledanois, sport directors, review the squad.
“La Vuelta is an important objective for Nairo, especially since he has already written his name on the list of winners of this event,” says Yvon Ledanois. Our leader is aiming for a big result, that is to say the best overall classification possible, as was the case recently on the roads of the Tour de France. The Arkéa-Samsic team will be totally at his service. The icing on the cake would be, in addition to a good final general classification, a stage win for Nairo in this race”.
“Because of his experience, Anthony will take on the role of road captain. He will accompany and advise the younger members of the Arkéa-Samsic team. Anthony also has the ability to act as a perfect relay for the sports management during the race. This is a real asset for the team. His ability to never give up will also be very important over three weeks of racing”, notes Yvon Ledanois.
“Elie will be a support for Nairo during the mountain stages,” said Sebastian Hinault. He will be fresh for this competition because of what he experienced in the spring. It is this freshness that could allow him to shine in the third week when there are opportunities that could present themselves to him. Elie’s pressure is increasing, as we have seen in his first races and there is no doubt that his physical condition will improve with each stage of this race. In any case, he did everything possible after his crash in Liège-Bastogne-Liège to be at the start in Utrecht, and he will be ready for this Tour of Spain with good arguments.”
“Dan is designated as the sprinter for the Arkéa-Samsic team,” says Yvon Ledanois. In all the stages that may end like this, his mission will be to try to win. We know the values that drive this rider, so it’s up to those who will have the task of surrounding him to do it well. Dan has all the qualities and capacities to win at least one stage in Spain”.
“Clément will discover the Vuelta Ciclista a España after two consecutive participations in the Tour de France. He is a rider who also knows how to protect a leader on the plains, or to place him at the foot of the passes,” reminds Sébastien Hinault. He can also slip into a breakaway if the opportunity arises and win a stage thanks to his great speed. The Vuelta Ciclista a España is indeed a rather open race that offers opportunities to the attackers.”
“Simon has WorldTour experience, said Hinault. He is a very good team-mate who has already competed in a Grand Tour: the Giro d’Italia on two occasions. He will be an asset for Nairo because he knows how to devote himself without counting the cost to a leader as he has shown since the beginning of the season. We also know that Simon likes to cycle on the attack, and depending on the opportunities we will not restrict him.”
“Lukasz will be Nairo’s number one lieutenant in this Vuelta Ciclista a España, says Yvon Ledanois. He will have to repeat in Iberia what he did for his leader a few weeks ago on the roads of the Tour de France: protect him, position him well. He won’t have any personal objectives, his mission will be to support Nairo. We expect him on the so-called tricky stages, in the possible curbs and above all that he places him perfectly at the foot of the bumps.”
“Thibault will compete in his first Grand Tour at the age of 24 with the Vuelta Ciclista a España, notes Sébastien Hinault. He is a rouleur. This quality will be precious for us from the first day of the race with the team time trial in Utrecht. It will be an asset for Nairo from the start of the race, and then Thibault will be able to play the role of teammate. I also expect him to accompany his leader high up in the mountains, which will be a good investment for him for the future. This experience of a three week race will inevitably allow him to progress and to reach a new level.”
“This first participation in the Vuelta Ciclista a España of the Arkéa-Samsic team marks a new point of progression for our team. As in the recent Tour de France, our ambitions will be high around our leader, Nairo Quintana. He will be surrounded on this race by team-mates entirely devoted to his cause such as Simon Guglielmi, Lukasz Owsian, who was already a precious help to him in July. Elie Gesbert will also be an asset as a team-mate on some stages with Nairo, as well as a free electron on other occasions in order to chase a stage win. This accession to a second Grand Tour during the 2022 season will also allow Thibault Guernalec, 24 years old, to discover a three-week race which will give him the opportunity to reach new levels. Thibault will also be able to benefit from the wisdom and advice of Anthony Delaplace, a rider capable of supporting Nairo with self-sacrifice, courage and a sense of team spirit, three qualities that define who he is.
If the general classification of the Vuelta Ciclista a España is an objective defined with Nairo, we will not lock our riders into a defensive scheme, on the contrary, the hunt for stage victories will also mark our ambitions on all terrains, including the sprint with Dan McLay, who will help Clément Russo, whose qualities are multiple and appreciated by all on a Grand Tour. This way of racing corresponds totally to the philosophy of our riders and the sports management of the Arkéa-Samsic team. This Vuela Ciclista a España is already historic for the Arkea-Samsic team, and it’s up to us to make it even more so.”