Warren Barguil: “I have to stop myself from riding my bike”
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Warren Barguil: “I have to stop myself from riding my bike”

by Ben Atkins at 5:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Double Vuelta stage-winning Frenchman can’t wait for the 2014 season to start

warren barguilWarren Barguil (Argos-Shimano) can’t wait for the 2014 season to start, the Frenchman writes in his column in sportspaper l’Equipe. The 23-year-old neo-pro took two stages in this year’s Vuelta a España, reaffirming his status as one of the hottest properties in French cycling. Taking an enforced break before he waits for the new year to come, however, is not something that comes naturally.

“This is the time of the year that I’m really not supposed to ride,” he wrote. “I’ve arrived here pretty well this year, but I have to stop myself from riding my bike.

“I miss the sport so much right now,” Barguil continued. “Since Paris-Tours I have ridden twice: three laps of the Gentlemen de Levallois and 80 km of the criterium of Curaçao [the Amstel Curaçao - ed]. That race was a good opportunity to take a week’s holiday in the sun with my girlfriend. I was the only Frenchman invited, in the middle of a load of Belgian and Dutch riders. At one point during the week Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) came to me and said: ‘You’re really not going to ride?’ No, I didn’t ride all week, it was an important step toward being more efficient in my winter preparation.”

Barguil is continuing to keep fit in the off season, especially to avoid the back problems that he suffered in the early season, but the 23-year-old is growing impatient to get back on his bike.

“This week I saw a report on [TV station] l’Equipe 21 about the Embrun triathlon and I was really envious,” wrote Barguil. “It proves that I need sport. I continue to do do strength exercises and stretching to strengthen my back and to avoid the problems that I had early season; I was getting a little sciatica. I’ve started with my girlfriend, and done some swimming, and I’m back on my bike this weekend for a cyclocross at Plougasnou.”

One thing that his two Vuelta stage victories has brought Barguil is a certain celebrity in a country that is crying out for a new Grand Tour champion. Bringing up the sport, after having ridden such a long season - and not being allowed to ride at present - is something that he wants to avoid, however.

“I meet a lot of people congratulate me for the Vuelta and my results,” he said. “I cut in and I tell them: ‘Can we stop talking cycling.’”

An incident with a policeman at Charles De Gaulle airport recently brought home this new-found celebrity, as a fan in uniform had Barguil a little worried at first.

“He walked towards me with a firm step and I was wondering what the problem was,” Barguil wrote, “when he pulled out his phone for a picture with me. It felt weird.”

Luckily for Barguil, his time off the bike will soon be over, as Argos-Shimano gets together for its first preparations for the 2014 season.

“I will take the plane for Spain in early December,” he wrote. “It will still be to get the sun, but this time to work with the team’s first training camp. They won’t need to force me to ride.”


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