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Barguil to make Paris-Roubaix debut in 2020

Nairo Quintana, Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic)
Warren Barguil with Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) (Image credit: Arkea-Samsic)

Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) will make his Paris-Roubaix debut in this season’s rescheduled race, taking advantage of the race's late season date of October 25 to feed his sense of adventure. 

It will be the final race of a busy Autumn schedule for the French national champion, who will ride in support of Nairo Quintana and pursue stage victories at the Tour de France before leading his team in the Ardennes Classics in October.

Barguil is known for his climbing ability and has never raced Paris-Roubaix as a professional but he has performed strongly when the Tour de France has sampled the cobbles of the Hell of the North in recent years. He placed 15th on the stage to Roubaix in 2018 and was in the large group that came home three seconds down on stage winner Tony Martin in Cambrai in 2015.

Paris-Roubaix was postponed from its usual April date due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its late position on the revised calendar offered Barguil the chance to participate.

“Yes, I've really been wanting to try it for a while now,” Barguil told Le Télégramme. “I feel good on the cobbles and seeing as it’s at the end of the year, now is the perfect opportunity. Paris-Roubaix is legendary.

“It means I’m going to ride Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Amstel Gold Race, and then follow up two weeks later with Paris-Roubaix.”

Barguil will also make his maiden appearance in another Monument in 2020, as he will be part of the Arkéa-Samsic squad aiming to carry Nacer Bouhanni to victory at Milan-San Remo, which has been rescheduled for August 8.

“To have the distance in the legs, I did 300km the other day in training,” Barguil revealed. 

“I’ll go there to help Nacer, and I hope to be in the final. Yes, I did 300km in training for that. Puncheurs and guys with a lot of endurance go well at Milan-San Remo.”

Barguil has not raced since he was disqualified from Paris-Nice on the opening day for drafting behind a team car following a crash. The Breton had placed second at the Drôme Classic the previous weekend and he will resume his campaign at La Route d'Occitanie stage race in southwest France on August 1.

He will then ride Milan-San Remo and the Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of the Tour de France, where Nairo Quintana – the outstanding performer of the season’s opening weeks – will lead Arkéa-Samsic’s overall challenge.

“At the start of the season, Nairo was the best climber in the world, nobody could follow him,” said Barguil, who placed 10th overall in the 2019 Tour.

“If he arrives at the start of the Tour in that condition, then it would be normal to support him. Without a second thought, I will be at his service. Being a teammate of someone who has the podium of the Tour de France in his legs doesn't happen every day. I'm not going to cry over it. I don't mind doing the work. When I get a thank you and I get the same in return later on, there is never a problem.”

Barguil acknowledged, however, that he would set out from Nice on August 29 with some personal ambition. Quintana’s bid for the yellow jersey will be Arkéa-Samsic’s focus and the team has already confirmed that Bouhanni will not be part of the Tour team, but Barguil is keen to add to his tally of stage wins on La Grande Boucle.

“Last year, I was well placed in the general classification, so I didn't take enough risks. This time, I'll be able to play on this alliance with Nairo,” he said. 

“Personally, I'd rather win a stage than finish fifth in the Tour de France. If Nairo finishes on the podium in Paris and if I raise my arms on a stage, my Tour will be more than successful.”