Pierrick Fédrigo: “I want to reacquaint myself with victory again!”
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pierrick Fédrigo: “I want to reacquaint myself with victory again!”

by Ben Atkins at 10:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
The Nose of Marmande is recovered from illness and raring to go in 2012

pierrick fedrigoPierrick Fédrigo’s move to FDJ at the beginning of 2011 did not go according to plan. The rider known as the “Nez de Marmande” (the “Nose of Marmande”) due to his prominent proboscis, was one of the big stars of the Bbox Bouygues Telecom team, but was prevented from performing at his usual level for his new team due to a combination of fatigue, illness and back injury.

The 33-year-old three-time Tour de France stage winner returned to something like his usual self towards the end of the season though, and is now looking forward to a healthy 2012.

“I am super motivated!” he exclaimed in an interview on the FDJ team website. “After a year on the sidelines, I want to reacquaint myself with victory again; I’m thinking about my team, and thinking of myself too... I was physically revived late in the season, and notably finished second in the Grand Prix de Montréal. This allowed me to spend a more serene winter. Now I want to ride and show that I am still able to get results.”

Fédrigo’s spring programme will have a familiar ring to it and, despite the FDJ-BigMat team’s return to first division WorldTour status, will have a distinctly domestic flavour.

“It is the same as in 2011 with the Etoile de Bessèges, the Tour du Haut-Var, the Boucles de Sud-Ardèche and Paris-Nice,” he explained. “I will take one race at a time, but I want to be on the attack right away, to have a good feeling.

“Last year, I did not arrive,” he admitted. “Maybe because I changed my team and I needed to find my bearings; perhaps because I trained differently. I searched and I did not find. And then there was also Lyme’s disease, which didn’t help!”

Fédrigo is, in many ways, a rider from the old school, and employs a method of training that is not so commonly seen these days.

“Apart from last week’s training camp where I had to ride with gears in the group, I work with a fixed gear,” he said. “I had a nice four-hour ride on Tuesday. I don’t think that there are many professionals that do things like that.

“It’s ideal for restarting,” he explained. “I take my time, I have no temptation to go too hard; I'm just turning my legs.”

Many of Fédrigo’s colleagues ride on the track or cyclocross in the winter, but he finds that this is too heavy for him at this time of year.
“The cyclocross is intensive work and I don’t need that before January,” he explained. “Tuesday, on my gear of 41 x 17, I had four hours at 35kph average, at 120 rpm. On the flat the legs work well, bumps make me do weight training, downhill is good for the leg speed; and it’s a lot of fun!

“I think this season, when I go back to stage races where there is a tendency to become a diesel, occasionally I will return to the fixed gear!”

While disappointed with his own results, where his second place in Montréal was by far the standout achievement, he was pleased with his contribution to the team. FDJ racked up more results than any other at Professional Continental level, and finished top of the Europe Tour standings, which played a major part in the team’s rise back up to the WorldTour.

“Of course people from the team wanted to see me win, but I didn’t have the level for that,” he said. “So I put myself in the service of the group. I've helped Sandy Casar to win Paris-Camembert, Anthony Roux to win the Circuit de la Sarthe. I devoted myself to them because I couldn’t afford to think of myself. It was the third time in my career that I changed my team and I learned to live with my new surroundings.

“From this point of view, it's been easy because there is a very good atmosphere at FDJ.”

Having rid himself of the Lyme’s Disease that so blighted his season, Fédrigo needs no further medical treatment, but will be keeping a close watch on his condition.

“I will continue to do regular blood tests, to reassure myself,” he said. “The disease was like having bad flu that lasted a long time!”

He will be spending the Christmas period with his family, where he will be able to fully relax for a few days before he heads into the new season.

“This is the last opportunity for me to allow myself into an area where I can eat good food,” he said. “On January 2, it's over; everything will be put behind me; then I will have nothing more than my return to competition in my head!”


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