Review of the 2021 season
Emmanuel Hubert, General Manager, and Yvon Ledanois, Sport-Director of the Arkéa-Samsic team, take stock of the past season.
16 2nd place finishes
12 places of 3
8 different winners
3 general stage race classifications
2nd in the continental pro ranking
17th world team
“Our 2021 season has been marked by several victorious moments: in the spring, this summer and finally in the final events of the calendar. This year we have once again achieved a certain consistency in the number of victories, with ten. What I remember most of all is that these successes were achieved by eight different riders, among them young riders to whom we have put our trust such as Alan Riou and Matîs Louvel. We also won two stage races in 2020 and this figure has been increased to three this year with Nairo Quintana (Vuelta Asturias), Warren Barguil (Tour du Limousin) and Connor Swift (Tour du Poitou-Charentes).
The return to the forefront of Élie Gesbert on the roads of the Volta Algarve and the victory of Connor Swift on the Tro Bro Léon will also remain as highlights of this year still marked by the Covid-19, with, consequently, a lesser number of race days than in the past. The fact remains that the injuries to our leaders on successive and sometimes repeated occasions have been detrimental to our performances. Without this, there is no doubt that our year 2021 would be even more successful, I am more than convinced.
In two seasons we have established ourselves in the landscape of professional cycling teams that win more than ten races a year. But we can and must aim for much more. Our goal is to improve on this, especially on the roads of the Tour de France where we have been winning the sprint stages with Nacer Bouhanni this summer. Our ambition in 2022 will be to convert our runner-up finishes into victories, so that the sixteen second places we have won in 2021 will be converted into successes.
“I obviously deplore the injuries to our three leaders, because they have been very detrimental to our season as a whole, but especially to each of them individually. All three of them have been affected in their flesh, whether it is Nacer, Warren or Nairo – who moreover came back from two knee operations in the winter of 2020. Their willingness to come back and serve the team can only be praised.
When we look at the 2021 balance sheet for Nairo, Warren and Nacer, what immediately comes to mind is that it is not negative. The satisfaction is to note that eight different riders have won this season. These successes are due first of all to the qualities of the riders concerned, but also to the value of our very strong group, which allowed them to express themselves. You never win alone in our sport. It is at this level, in my opinion, that the team has crossed a great “gap”. Today we have the ability to win, but also to work at a high level, including in the World Tour. We have made a difference in the races each time we have taken on our responsibilities, and we have done so in front of some very big teams, not to say the best. I am not a rider anymore, but I am still a winner. I am animated by this spirit of victory, ten successes are good, now considering the quality and the potential of the riders who make up the Arkéa-Samsic team – without a season hampered by crashes or illnesses – we have the potential to win more than twice as many successes. I also want to remember the collective spirit, all the riders fought until the end of the season, not for their individual interest, but for the team’s interest ».