Warren Barguil: "I enjoy races like the Grand Prix of Wallonia”
Warren Barguil will start a one-day race cycle that will take him to the end of the season from the Grand Prix de Wallonie tomorrow.
“The Grand Prix de Wallonie will start the one-day race cycle that will mark the end of my 2021 season. This beautiful Belgian semi-classic favours the designs of the puncheurs-grimpeurs, it is a race of placement and wear and tear and the ultimate difference is made in the final with the difficult climb of the Citadelle of Namur. This year again, the peloton will have to climb this hill twice, but before that, we have already had the climbs of Brume, Werbomont, Warnant, Tienne aux Pierre as “mise en bouche”, before arriving at the final, which is two kilometres two hundred long with percentages of around five percent. I like this kind of race and I hope that there will be some movement like in the recent European Championships in Trento, because this is the kind of cycling I like to do and it is also the kind of cycling that the fans of our sport like. I like this race on which I signed a podium (3rd in 2018), because it offers a nice ground of expression for classics riders with a profile of puncheurs-grimpeurs”.
“I have never raced in Belgium, and this Grand Prix de Wallonie will be my sporting baptism in this country. It will be a discovery for me, we have Warren who is very good physically and has been in good shape for several weeks, and the objective for me as for all the other riders of the Arkéa-Samsic team, will be to help him as much as possible so that he can perform, and to see, if ever, there is also the possibility that I do a good result in order to help the team to score as many UCI points as possible”.
“I’m going to race this event for the first time, I’ve studied a bit on Veloviewer what this competition is like and I could see that the profile is hard. There are a lot of kilometres (210 in total) and from the start it’s tough, not forgetting the final climb to the Citadelle of Namur. I think that this is the kind of race that suits Warren perfectly. He is also in good shape and showed it again recently, so the aim is to get a good result in the Grand Prix de Wallonie 2021”.
“The Grand Prix de Wallonie breaks somewhat the pattern of sprinters’ races in the North of France and in Belgium proposed every end of the season. This event is more like a classic Ardennes race because of the route that is offered to the riders. There is a lot of difference in altitude on this competition with a dozen of climbs referenced. The course is tiring and the double climb of the Citadelle of Namur in the final part of the race makes a natural selection, allowing the strongest but also the freshest riders at the end of the day to go for the victory. The goal will be for the Arkéa-Samsic team to shine on this event with notably Warren Barguil, 3rd here in 2018, who we saw offensively on the recent European Championship in Trento. Our leader, who appreciates this kind of one-day races, will be surrounded by team-mates with good climbing and climbing skills who will be able to put him in the right wheels at the right moment”.