He hadn't planned to be there, but in the end, he doesn't regret it.
Romain Bardet, whose goal for the season was the Giro, is present in Copenhagen for the start of the Tour de France on Friday.
Forced to retire during the 13th stage of the Tour of Italy when he was placed for the win, the Frenchman has not run since.
This does not prevent him from arriving with ambition.
“I have no certainties about my level, delivered the French climber at a press conference.
It doesn't detract from my motivation.
But I want to run without thinking about tomorrow.
So I focus on the steps.”
The Auvergnat, second in the 2016 Tour de France, is returning to the Grande Boucle for the first time since joining the DSM team at the end of the 2020 season.
“I missed the atmosphere of the Tour in 2021, he admitted.
I needed this year of hindsight to appreciate even more the greatness of the event.
I come back with more desire and childlike eyes.”
Without too many benchmarks, Bardet, aged 31, intends to go there instinctively.
“I will run as we ran the Tour of Spain, he announced Thursday.
I will have my chance in the mountains.”
He had notably signed in this Vuelta a stage victory at Pico Villuercas.
In the Great Loop, starting Friday in Copenhagen, he checked in particular the 11th stage arriving on July 13 in Serre-Chevalier.
"For example, I prefer the Col du Granon which is harder than Alpe d'Huez", he repeated Thursday as during the presentation the day before.
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