John Gadret aiming for French Cyclo-cross title this weekend
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Saturday, January 07, 2012

John Gadret aiming for French Cyclo-cross title this weekend

by Kyle Moore at 12:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 
Ag2R rider pleased with overall growth of ‘cross in France

John GadretJohn Gadret (Ag2R-La Mondiale) has recently stated that he will be all in for the Giro d’Italia this season, but for now, the Frenchman has a more current goal to chase in this weekend’s French Cyclo-cross championships.

Gadret will face stiff competition in current champion Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat), Steve Chainel (FDJ-BigMat), Aurelien Duval (UVAUBE), and Matthieu Buolo (Roubaix Lille Metropole).

Formerly the French champion in 2004 and 2006, Gadret will go for title number three on Sunday in Quelneuc, in the region of Brittany in north-western France.

“It is true that the course suits me, so I prepared accordingly,” Gadret said in an interview with Velochrono. “I know the course very well and I know where I should make the efforts. I am really well prepared, [I have] reconnoitered it, and depending on the terrain, we will see how to play things.”

On the world stage, French cyclo-cross seems to be in the middle of a boom. FDJ-BigMat team-mates Mourey and Chainel are currently seventh and ninth respectively in the UCI World Cup standings. On the eve of the French championships, Gadret offered up some comments on a handful of riders who could keep him away from his third Tricolor jersey.

“Francis is a really good rider, but when you get a chance to follow him, he starts to panic,” Gadret said of Mourey. “He has made mistakes, as in the World Cup.”

The current ‘cross season has also seen the emergence of French talents Duval and Buolo.

“This guy here is a great rider, no doubt,” he remarked about Duval. “He has prepared this winter. I think he will have the bit between his teeth, and indeed that has already been the case since the beginning of the season, I can see that.

“And I would say Arnold Jeannesson too [another FDJ-BigMat rider competing Sunday – ed.]. He beat Matthieu Buolo twice recently, and he looks good. Regarding Matthieu, it is unknown. He did seven races in nine days, so he will either be great or he will be completely scorched.”

Though Belgian riders have been the undisputed rulers of cyclo-cross for some time, Gadret noted some elements of French ‘cross that do not usually exist in Belgium.

“We greet each other before the start, but once you get on the bike, you put things in perspective,” he admitted. “And an hour later, it’s good, we’ll talk – it’s our job. In ‘cross, there is always a little family; everyone knows each other.

“It’s different [in Belgium]. Those are riders who do not agree amongst themselves. In France, that is not there. Even with Mourey, there were small skirmishes before, but they are forgotten today.”

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