FDJ team manager Marc Madiot has defended his decision to throw David Boucher out of the Eneco Tour. Boucher was expelled from the race by his team after stage 3, reportedly for getting into the break. Madiot told website Cyclingpro.net that Boucher had repeatedly ignored his instructions to look after FDJ’s sprinter Arnaud Démare.
"The instructions were clear since Monday, David Boucher had to protect Arnaud Démare," said Madiot. "He was called to order by [directeur sportif] Martial Gayant on Monday and I called in person yesterday [Tuesday] at the briefing. He decided again not to listen to the instructions today and was sent home. Riders are paid, and paid well, to apply the guidelines, happy or unhappy. In doing so, he has not respected his leader."
Despite the lack of assistance from Boucher, Démare finished second to Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) in the sprint finish. Wednesday’s stage 3 to Ardooie was the second time that Boucher had gone on the attack during the Eneco Tour. The naturalised Belgian was one of six riders to escape on day one, a move that would ultimately be caught.
Earlier this month, Boucher announced on Twitter that he would not be kept on with FDJ for next season, which could explain his decision to go against his team manager’s orders. His choice, however, could see his final season with the team end prematurely, although Madiot hasn’t decided yet.
"If the season is over? I'll decide when I feel like it," said Madiot "You always want it to end well. I still have the right to choose my riders for next year, it's a shame he does not respect this choice."
After his departure from the race, Boucher took to Twitter once again, writing: "I'm proud of myself and I'm not the only one. I have to give up and go home now. A decision by the team as punishment. I am very pleased to have been supported by all team managers and riders in the peloton. Thank you to you and congratulations to Arnaud for second place."