Offredo ready for a big victory, according to team-mate Boucher
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Offredo ready for a big victory, according to team-mate Boucher

by Kyle Moore at 7:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
FDJ rouleurs gradually learning new roles

Yoann OffredoDavid Boucher and Yoann Offredo (FDJ) are both adapting to roles within the team that they have not yet had, and Boucher likes the maturity he has seen in the younger Offredo, and believes he could be in for a very big victory very soon.

Offredo came back from a whereabouts violation at the end of January, a violation and consequence that very much frustrated the French one-day racer. In 2011, Offredo was fourth in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, seventh in Milan-Sanremo, 11th in Gent-Wevelgem, and tenth in GP Ouest France-Plouay. As one of the few French classics specialists, Offredo did not ride a Grand Tour.

The first two whereabouts violations that led to the ban resulted from a late filing of his location for testing, and the third violation came because of a late call-up to a race, after which Offredo again forgot to update his whereabouts.

Having served his one-year ban, Offredo is back, and according to Boucher, he is back with a renewed level of maturity. He has raced the Tour of Qatar, the Trofeo Laigueglia, and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad so far this season, sharing the Qatar and semi-classic rosters with Boucher.

“Offredo was in a very special state of mind in Qatar,” Boucher said to Velochrono. “From the first time he signed in, he seemed very tense and alert. The first stage was tough for him, which is natural after a year away from the peloton. Day after day, he found his way. I really trust him, even if the level of the race is really high. Except for maybe Tom Boonen, because of his delay in training, all of the Flanders classics specialists are already in really good shape. But Yoann has a big engine, and he rode really well this winter, and he returned with a larger force of character. I think we will have a beautiful Classics campaign and ‘Yoyo’ will do something big.”

The difference between the 2012 Offredo in Qatar and the 2013 version of the 26-year-old is what Boucher points to in order to explain the difference in maturity he has seen in his team-mate. Qatar was one of Offredo’s only races in 2012 before his ban kicked in.

“Last year in the Tour of Qatar, we didn’t work very well with our shifts in the team time trial,” Boucher continued. “Yoann was impulsive, and he wasn’t happy with the dynamic of the team, so he spoke harshly with the guys after the finish. Then we had a discussion in the hotel later to smooth things out. This year, I discovered that Yoann starts at the same level as everyone else, and if it goes wrong, he is much more sedate in the debriefing, almost like a teacher.

“What has happened to him is really mature. Yoann does not always have huge trust in himself, so when I see him doubting, I try to reassure him. I refer him to other races where he got good results to remind him that he can compete with the best.”

Six years Offredo’s senior, Boucher is also adjusting to a new role in his second year with FDJ. He said that he has been discouraged from attacking, which he has done, if a bit reluctantly, since it suited his former style. But Boucher said that with Offredo, plus sprinters Nacer Bouhanni and Arnaud Demare, he is expected to eat kilometres on the front of the peloton, an important, though less glamourous job.


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