France’s New Hope

Column

12 June 2016

Romain Bardet. He was born on the 3rd of November, 1990. He grew up in Brioude in the Auverge region in France. Cycling was a passion in the house of Bardet. His father was very fond of it and so was Romain. He watched a lot of cycling races in his youth and heard stories about the legends in cycling. He always wanted to become like Bartoli, because of his phenomenal class. Romain started to ride the bike early. After highschool he went to university to study Law. During his study he was spotted by the Chambéry Cyclisme Formation. It is a team for young, talented riders who study at university. In 2010 and 2011 he was a part of this team. He became 6th in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2010, which was won by Nairo Quintana in that year. He finished Law in 2011 and then started with business studies at the Grenoble School of Management. In 2012, he signed for AG2R La Mondiale. His first year there was a year of hard work. He also got a lot of attention of the French press, who saw potential in him. It wasn’t until 2013 that he won his first race as a professional rider. That was the Tour de l’Ain. Later that year he surprised everyone with his 15th place in the final classification of the Tour de France. The team was satisfied about the result and gave him the leading position of the team in the following year. He became 6th in 2014, stating that he had learned a lot. In 2015, he won a stage in the Critérium du Dauphiné. His best result was yet to come. On the 23st of July he won his first stage in the Tour de France. A mountain stage. He was thrilled, speechless, more than happy. He also managed to earn his diploma in Management in that year. Still, Romain is a sensitive person. He does not like to talk about his ‘other career’. It comes back in interviews every time and he is tired of that. He stated that he is ‘a cyclist before anything else’. His goal for the season of 2016 is clear: the Tour de France. He has worked on the skills that are needed for an overall rider, especially for a three-week race. His Tour chances could increase if he can avoid the ‘off days’. It is his dream to win the Tour de France, but he also knows that his chances are small. Nevertheless, he is still young and there is plenty of time left. The French people are already impatiently waiting. He knows the pressure is high, but he keeps calm. Romain Bardet. He is on his way to become France’s new hope.

Bardet
© l’équipe

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