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Barguil, just like in the old days


Warren Barguil has always been one of those riders who is far from the stereotypical superstar. He became a superstar for a moment back in 2017, when he won two stages at the Tour de France, took the polka-dot jersey as best climber and thrilled the transalpine crowd with his attacks from afar. The French were desperate for a new rider who could bring the yellow jersey back to their homeland, with Bardet and Pinot being strong, but perhaps not strong enough to oust the Froome or Quintana of those years.

Barguil was enigmatic: he had won two phenomenal stages at the Vuelta a España when he was just 21 years old, then seemed to have vanished, but in that Tour he came back and reached such high peaks that it seemed that this great talent was finally blossoming. That wasn’t the case, because Barguil hasn’t managed to reach those peaks again and, now that he’s 30 years old, it seems difficult for him to return to those glories.

But maybe he was better off this way: he never liked having expectations and pressure on his back. On the other hand, he is a normal Breton who likes to ride his bike, but he has always had many interests outside the world of cycling. Family, obviously, but also cars.

He is a collector, if he has to spend money on something he does it on cars. With the first 500 euros he bought himself a Peugeot 205 with 330,000 kilometres and took a trip to the Basque Country. He recently declared that when he stops racing, he wants to work in a car dealership and if he has the chance, he would also like to run the Paris-Dakar. In short, the limelight might as well shine on someone else. He won’t be offended.

However, he still knows how to pull off some exploits in his own way. As he did today at the Tirreno-Adriatico, a solo on the deadly slopes of the Fermani walls which adds up to a not-too-large but absolutely prestigious palmarés. He’s never won in Italy before (this is his first Tirreno-Adriatico), so let’s hope this victory encourages him to come back more often, because riders like him who don’t plan ahead and live for the day are always a guarantee of fun. With the route of the Giro d’Italia, which he has never ridden, a rider like him would find fertile ground. He still has a few years left in his career to come to the Corsa Rosa and entertain us. And while waiting for the Giro, he could try again tomorrow on the Carpegna.

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