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"I have a goal of going back to the track to become world champion. It's something I have not had time to pursue in recent years as I have had big goals on the road," Riblon tells Velo Magazine

Photo: Sirotti

AG2R LA MONDIALE

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CHRISTOPHE RIBLON

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02.11.2013 @ 08:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Christophe Riblon became national hero in France when he won the queen stage of the Tour de France which included two passages of the legendary Alpe d'Huez climb. Despite his exploits on the roads, the Frenchman plans to return to the track where he wants to become world champion.

 

Christophe Riblon may have won a mountain stage to Ax-3-Domaines in 2010 but the Frenchman experienced a career-defining moment this summer when he took the only French stage win of the Tour de France atop the legendary Alpe d'Huez climb. Having made it into key breaks on several big mountain stages, he was later awarded the combativity prize for being the most aggressive rider in the centenary edition of the Tour de France.

 

Next year Riblon will be back on the road with his Ag2r-La Mondiale team after signing a contract until 2016 with his French employer. However, he also plans to return to his roots and mix his road commitments with some track racing.

 

Long before his greatest exploits on the road, Riblon showed his talents on the board and he has come close to the rainbow jersey on several occasions. In 2008, he was 2nd in the points race and two years later he joined forces with Morgain Kneisky to secure a silver medal in the madison.

 

In the last two years, the versatile Frenchman hasn't done much track racing but he still dreams of wearing the rainbow jersey on the boards. Asked by Velo Magazine to point out his future targets, he doesn't point to a road event as his first choice.

 

"I have a goal of going back to the track to become world champion," he said. "It's something I have not had time to pursue in recent years as I have had big goals on the road. But I love the track, it's a special atmosphere in a closed room with the public sitting just 5 metres away from us. I really love it and I miss it."

 

Despite his track ambitions, Riblon's road career is far from finished. Following his successful Tour de France, he got close to the overall win in the WorldTour race Tour de Pologne when he won the queen stage and wore the leader's jersey on the final time trial before ending in 3rd place. Alongside further Tour success and classics ambitions, a win in a high-level stage race is one of Riblon's major road targets.

 

"I also want to become French champion on the road," he said. "I don't know why but I feel that I cannot end my career without wearing the tricolour jersey in the pro ranks. One day I will get the opportunity and I will take it. I would also like to wear the yellow jersey [in the Tour de France], win a weeklong stage race on the WorldTour and - why not - go for the win in Milan-Sanremo."

 

Riblon has 5 professional wins in his 9-year career with Ag2r-La Mondiale.

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