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"This is not discrimination towards the 30-somethings, it is only a screening. But this is the hard core of youngsters whom I am expecting to depend on." At least at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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ARMINDO FONSECA

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ARNAUD DEMARE

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ARTHUR VICHOT

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CYRIL GAUTIER

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JEROME COPPEL

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JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE

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JULIEN SIMON

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NACER BOUHANNI

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THIBAUT PINOT

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WARREN BARGUIL

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03.12.2014 @ 07:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

At the initiative of the national team, French national coach Bernard Bourreau has gathered 12 of the best French riders gathered in Maurienne this week. The goal is to create a genuine collective dynamic.

 

His plan has been a success. Even if has had to face a lot of skeptics, French national coach Bernard Bourreau is surrounded by the cream of French cycling in Valloire this week. Far from the battles between the different teams that will dominate most of the season, Bourreau hopes to create a collective spirit and cohesiveness under the banner of the national federation.

 

 

"In my conversation with the DTN and the President of the Federation in 2012, I suggested a winter training camp," he tells Le Dauphine.

"I anticipated the difficulties I would encounter but despite the problems, I had the agreement from everyone." The riders agreed quickly while the team bosses hesitated a bit more. But the most important young riders are now at the gathering, apart from Romain Bardet who is in England for some wind tunnel tests, and Tony Gallopin who is split between two Lotto-Belisol gatherings

 

"This is not discrimination towards the 30-somethings, it is only a screening," said Bourreau, defending his decision not to select Thomas Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel. "But this is the hard core of youngsters whom I am expecting to depend on." At least at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

 

 

"Since I've become national selector, I've noticed that interaction between the riders is rare," explained Bourreau. "They don't even talk to each other in the peloton any more. I wanted to create links, to allow interaction.

 

He uses a proven method from his time as leader of the U23 team.

 

"We needed some form of cohesive activity, and for that we needed to be able to get together, ideally away from bike races. I'm afraid that the complicity that was established between them when they were youngsters has been lost due to the demands and rivalries of the professional world."

 

One example is the fact that Nacer Bouhanni and Arnaud Démare will live together this week. That is important for the Worlds in 2015 and 2016 which are expected to suit the sprinters.

 

 

In early December, all professional riders are already backe in training. One of the obstacles for the gathering has been the fact that they won't do any riding.

 

"It will be three days without cycling but not without sport," Bourreau said.. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, obstacle and hiking on the slopes of the Galibier are all on the extensive program. "I really want to promote contact between them," Bourreau emphasizes. And he wants to create memories. "The goal is that they will appreciate each other when they wear the same jersey at the Worlds or the Olympics.

 

Riders participating in the gathering

Julian Alaphilippe (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Warren Barguil (Giant-Shimano), Nacer Bouhanni, Arnaud Démare, Thibaut Pinot, Arthur Vichot (FDJ. fr), Jérôme Coppel, Julien Simon (Cofidis), Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Blel Kadri, Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale).

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