First WorldTour podium for Barguil at Tour de Suisse

Frenchman tunes up for Tour de France

Since his 2016 season debut at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya when he was 22nd, Warren Barguil has been improving race by race with a debut WorldTour podium at the Tour de Suisse further indication of his development in the peloton and recovery from the Giant-Alpecin training ride crash in January that left him with a fractured scaphoid.

The 24-year-old Frenchman also enjoyed wearing the first WorldTour leader's jersey of his young career in the stage 8 time trial which he lost to eventual winner Miguel Lopez (Astana). 

Having started the ninth and final stage of the Tour de France warm up race in fourth place, Barguil moved up into third place as he finished in the front group.

"It was a hard day and the stage was too short for me as I prefer longer stages," Barguil said of the shortened stage 9 due to poor weather. "The guy was doing a perfect lead-out on the climb and I remained calm in the bunch. I was not feeling so great and at the top, I had a gap so I a closed my nice wind vest from Etxeondo and made a sprint down the descent to rejoin the leaders."

Lopez had taken the race up on the Flüela Pass to put Andrew Talansky, who sitting second on GC at eight seconds, and his other rivals into difficulty before easing up in the descent into Davos which saw a regrouping of the chase groups. Barguil added that while he would have liked more from the race, he was ultimately content with his performance.

"I managed to do a good descent with Rui Costa, he was not passing every time and I think it would have been possible to catch the group maybe before. It was still a good performance and I'm proud of my teammates and of me over the week of racing," Barguil said.

"It is my best result so far in a WorldTour race and I think this year I have taken a big step forward in my development."

Giant-Alpecin coach Morten Bennekou explained that considering Barguil's delayed start to the season, he was proud of his performance and the team's ability to support his bid of the GC with the Tour de France starting on just under two weeks.

"We are all very happy here at the Tour de Suisse today. It is a big accomplishment for Warren to finish on the podium. Also as a team, in general, it is a big result which is based on the hard work of a lot of people," said Bennekou. "Warren really deserves this after showing a lot of dedication and work after the training accident in January."

Barguil is expected to be named in Giant-Alpecin's Tour de France team later this week with a possible appearance at the French National Championships this coming weekend.

 

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