Kévin Vauquelin: "I approach Paris-Nice with desire and humility
Ambitious, Kévin Vauquelin is, but he also remains humble in the face of his first week-long UCI WorldTour race, a competition he recently recognized for the last three stages.
“It’s obviously impressive to take the start of my very first Paris-Nice, an event whose reputation is well established. It is also an important competition at the beginning of the season, without a doubt one of the first major events of the year, with a very beautiful course that is in a way a condensed version of the Tour de France, since there will be stages for sprinters, a team time trial that is a bit specific, but a time trial all the same, and some very hilly stages at the end of the week. The leader’s jersey is also yellow. I’m going into this race as I have always done since the beginning of my career with ambition, but also humility. I have a little more pressure, but I remain calm and serene, because I know that with the whole Arkéa-Samsic team we will try to do the best we can. I can rely on my team. In fact, our sports manager, Théo Ouvrard, recently organized a training session in the south of France. We went to reconnoiter the last three stages of this edition of the “race to the sun”. This allowed me to get my bearings. I now know the route of the last three days of the race. This is an advantage for me. I have fewer uncertainties about it, because I know where I’m going to put my wheels. That’s a real advantage for me.”
“I discovered Paris-Nice last year. This first experience on a UCI WorldTour race of one week allowed me to learn a lot, and physically it also made me pass a stage. I know that I am a rider who needs high intensity races to progress, and this one fits into that category, so at the end I had passed a level that served me well for the whole campaign of the Flemish classics. It should be the same this year. My objective will be to work for the riders who will be protected, to place them, to help them as much as possible. Afterwards, if I have opportunities to seize on this or that stage, I will of course do it. But my first status will be to be at the service of our protected riders”.
“Kévin Vauquelin will discover a week-long UCI WorldTour race. The Arkéa-Samsic team has a lot of experience in this type of race, and our mission will be to accompany him as best we can during the week. We know how aggressive the “Race to the Sun” is, due to the difficult weather conditions. It is also the first big international event in Europe. We are coming with humility and the desire to give Kevin the means to express himself as best as possible in this race, which will be both a discovery and an apprenticeship at the top level. Clément Champoussin will be an interesting card for the weekend. We will also have a duo of sprinters with a young promising potential, David Dekker who will be accompanied by the experienced Dan McLay. Matîs Louvel, who will have a role of teammate, will also be able to seize the possible opportunities which could present themselves to him during the week”.