Crowned French champion in front of his teammate Rudy Molard, Valentin Madouas was carried by the strategy of exhaustion and elimination of his training.
It’s an individual as well as a collective victory. Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) won his first professional French championship title in Cassel on Sunday June 25. Author of a very good number in the last 20 kilometers, the 26-year-old runner also benefited from his team’s strategy, based on physical demonstration and the exhaustion of the competitors.
With 18 riders present on the starting line in Hazebrouck, the French formation advanced with the force of the number on the roads of North. Even before the first pedal strokes, the strategy was clear, as the winner explained a few minutes after getting off his bike: “The plan was to toughen up the race as soon as possible.” A long undermining job to which the men in blue got down to the first of the 15 laps of the circuit.
Valentin Madouas took advantage of an opportunity to slip up front. “Finally, we left with a group from the start, we felt good”, he rewound on arrival. At the controls of the leading group and the peloton, Groupama-FDJ dictated the tempo for several tens of kilometres, and exhausted its competitors one after the other, carrying out a real race by elimination.
“A Perfect Race”
96 kilometers from the finish, more than 50 riders had already thrown in the towel, including Axel Zingle, third in 2022. Only 23 crossed the line in Cassel, after almost six hours of effort. “There is no other team in France that is able to apply this tactic even if it is readable. I made a long effort and I could never recover”blew Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroën), cited among the favorites but ultimately 14th, at the microphone ofEurosport.
In the lead, notably in the company of Thibaut Pinot, Bruno Armirail and Rudy Molard, whom he will find on the box, the future winner has managed his energy expenditure. “I was always one step ahead of everyone, I kept my strength up, whereas after three hours of racing, everyone was already dead”, he said. In the legs, he was able to follow the right attack at the right time, and did not break down in the end, to get a title with a very collective taste.
From his first reaction, on arrival, he wanted to pay tribute to his team and his teammates. “We had an extraordinary race, and I thank them more than anything in the world”, he was moved. With this victory, Groupama-FDJ has now won eight of the last twelve titles in the road race of the French championships. “We had a perfect race, it was really the perfect tactic, one step ahead, outnumbered and we won the title. It’s a great day for Groupama-FDJ”also appreciated the new vice-champion of France, Rudy Molard.
A surplus which was played until the end, since with seven riders to have crossed the line (Valentin Madouas, Rudy Molard, Thibaut Pinot, David Gaudu, Enzo Paleni, Clément Day, Romain Grégoire), the French formation counts for 30% of arrivals. Definitely above the lot.