Arnaud Démare and David Gaudu: “We will never be the greatest friends”
A meeting to explain
After David Gaudu got loose on social mediathen apologized in stride, Arnaud Démare preferred not to react hotly, “because it was smarter to stay calm than to fuel a controversy that was useless”, he explains. The two runners were reunited for a confession moment. Necessary “to burst the abscess”insists the sprinter. “This meeting has been good for us, especially for David I think, who understood how to interpret what was happening. »
After the climber’s repeated apologies, the two men were therefore each able to empty their bags. “I understood how he worked, and he how I worked, summarizes the Picard. I don’t want to go into details, but already, we are getting to know each other. Yes, we’ve been teammates for five years, but David never told me how he felt, I didn’t see there was a problem. »
In particular concerning the chambers of the oldest of the two (31 years old, against 26 at Gaudu): “We are in a sports environment, at work, we sleep, sometimes it can be misinterpreted or badly taken by the person in question, says Arnaud Démare. I know that you have to be careful in general in life. You can room people, others not. As I say, we discussed it, he told me what was on his mind and it was good. » Le Breton simply asserts that “Things are going to change”.
A peaceful relationship
“The church is in the middle of the village, it always has been, it just had to be rebalanced”, imaged this week Marc Madiot, the general manager, still very quiet this Saturday while his riders spoke at a press conference. This was confirmed with confidence by David Gaudu, when asked if the relationship was more fluid today than before the controversy: “Yes, yes, and it will get even better I think. »
Without it becoming either ideal, which the two interested parties did not hide. “I don’t think we’ll ever be the best friends in the world, concedes the 4th of the last Tour de France. But we’re old enough, adult enough, to have a working relationship and get along. “Everyone would dream of us becoming great friends, but you don’t need that to work, takes over the Picard sprinter. We talk about it because he’s a team leader, but there are plenty of riders we work with, in the evening we go home, and we don’t send messages between each race, because it’s is like that. That doesn’t prevent us from working very well together. It’s exactly the same as in any business. »
A Paris-Nice with high ambitions
In difficulty at the start of the seasonArnaud Démare is aiming for a first victory in 2023 from Paris-Nice, “that would be the best possible thing”. Without panicking, but being forced to adapt to the absence of his train (Guarnieri and Sinkeldam left the team this winter). “I have to regain my instinct, take advantage of this freedom, he wants to believe. I am a man of challenges, so that does not scare me.announcement the one who aims for 100 professional victories (currently 91).
Gaudu, for his part, made a success of his debut, in the legs at the Tour of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var (7th overall), not far from victory last weekend (2nd behind Alaphilippe in Ardèche, 4th in the Drôme). And he’s racing in the sun “the first big goal of the season. I want to do well in it, with a feeling of revenge (withdrawals in 2021 and 2022). There are the two best riders in the general classifications (Pogacar and Vingegaard) but nothing should be prohibited. »
For this, the Breton will have to avoid the pitfalls of the start of the event. By taking advantage of Démare? “He knows that I can provide him with strategic moments in a race, ensures the Picard. Not in the high mountains, necessarily, but on the edges, he can count on me and my train crew. »