The leader of the AG2R team was offensive all day during the sixth stage which will be the penultimate of Paris-Nice because the race will not come to an end. He tried, by his own admission, to have fun ”. A paradox when he was the first disgusted to have to ride his bike this Friday morning in Sorgues (Vaucluse).
He believes that the race should have stopped and that biking frankly makes no sense during this pandemic period. While waiting to pass the doping control on arrival, he reacted with strong and weighed words to the series cancellations of sports competitions including the Tour of Italy, one of his objectives of the season. As a citizen. Not a runner.
How can we qualify this cycling day in the middle of a pandemic?
ROMAIN BARDET. I had a good day as I like, at the front. It’s the bike that I love. And it feels good when nothing really makes sense anymore. You might as well get caught up in the ambient madness and have fun. When I clipped my pedals on my bike this morning (Friday), I said to myself: “come on, you might as well cycle”. Before, it was more complicated.
Would you have preferred not to start?
What I already deplore is the lack of unity. Some leave, others do not leave (Editor’s note: the Bahrain-Merida team left the couse this Friday morning). We may end up with thirty runners. I wonder where the meaning is in there. Especially vis-à-vis the rest of the population and our fellow citizens. We do our little run as if nothing had happened. It is clear that the context was particular.
We also learned that the Giro, your main objective was postponed
I cannot react hot like that but nothing surprises me in 2020. Now, I am mainly worried about the health situation in general. When it gets better, I will project myself on my race calendar. But now is not the time. Let us wait to know how the pandemic will evolve. What worries me is the idea that the worst is certainly to come.
Do you understand that Paris-Nice is leaving this Saturday?
I don’t understand why we left today (Friday). We don’t have too much room on a bike right now, as everyone is making efforts to stem the spread of the virus. All this makes no sense.