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“There are very good French riders, who are able to do great things, but it seems to me that none has all the qualities to win the Tour in the future,” Péraud told Cyclingnews."

Photo: Sirotti




19.12.2013 @ 18:46 Posted by Andy Pedersen

According to AG2R La Mondiale’s Frenchman Jean-Christophe Péraud, there will be no French Tour winner for some years. But he is optimistic about the future of French cycling and about his own future.


“There are very good French riders, who are able to do great things, but it seems to me that none has all the qualities to win the Tour in the future,” Péraud told Cyclingnews. “I hope I’m wrong but I think there is no French rider complete enough to be able to win the Tour.”


A French rider hasn’t won the greatest grand tour, since Bernard Hinault in 1985. Some of the biggest performances in this decade are made by Thomas Voeckler, Jean-Christophe Péraud and Richard Virenque. But none of them have been able to reach the podium.


Péraud himself has a 10th place as best result in the tour, but has shown a great potential in races such as Paris-Nice. In 2013, the 36-year old Frenchman finished 3rd overall in Paris-Nice and 5th overall in Criterium International.


But his career in the road race world has been affected by his many crashes and this year wasn’t an exception. On the mountain TT in this year’s tour, the Frenchman crashed several times and abandoned the Tour.


“I had decided not to leave after my first fall, when I fractured my collarbone. I was in a good position, and it would have been nice to finish and get a better placing. I knew that finishing the race would be complicated and painful,” said the Frenchman to cyclingnews. “My second crash was in a sense a bit of a relief. The story was finished, that was clear.”


Until his crash in the Tour, Peraud had had one of the best seasons ever and he is planning to repeat it next year. He will once again start his season in the Tour de San Luis. From there he will head back to Europe for Paris-Nice and the Tour Méditerranéen. The AG2R rider will return to the Critérium du Dauphiné for the build-up to his main goal of the Tour de France.


“It would be a dream to one day to get top five overall on the Tour but it’s very difficult,” explains Péraud to Cyclingnews. “This year, the conditions were excellent but I could have finished seventh or eighth at best. To gain to more places overall you have to be in top form, to have no glitch and to have a bit of luck.”


Peraud is as before told 36 years old and in the end of his career. The former national TT champion has some goals before he retires.


“I feel that the end of my career is getting close,” he told Cyclingnews. The older you are and the less you seem interesting for people but besides that I still feel at my best.


“[Before he retires] I would like to take part once to the Giro d’Italia. Thus, I would have taken part to the three Grand Tours. I would also like to compete once again in the Vuelta a España.”


Peraud made the switch from mountainbike to road racing after 15 years as a mountain biker. He dosesn't regret the late move, but misses his mountain bike days.


“It’s much more fun,” Péraud says. “It reflects more the level of each rider. You can’t cheat on mountain bike. It is a pure pleasure when you ride a mountain bike through the underbrush.”



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