Warren Barguil will stay with his Arkéa-Samsic team, despite offers from other teams, including his former squad, Sunweb, according to the French press. The 27-year-old forced his way into the top 10 overall at this year's Tour de France just a day ahead of the finish in Paris, and appears revitalised by both his performance and the experience of having raced in the French road race champion's jersey at a Tour in which French riders collectively performed better than they have in some years.
Barguil told Le Télégramme that he will stay with his current team, despite interest from the likes of EF Education First, Cofidis and Barguil's former team Sunweb, the French newspaper reported.
"I've found stability in this team, and didn't see myself going anywhere else," Barguil said.
"If I hadn't extended my contract with Arkéa-Samsic, I would have gone back to Sunweb," he added, with Le Télégramme stating that Barguil had a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to leave Arkéa at the end of this season. Barguil had previously left Sunweb while still under contract to join what was then the Fortuneo-Samsic team ahead of the 2018 season, after he'd won two stages and the mountains classification at the 2017 Tour and expressed his desire to join the French outfit.
After winning the French road race championships in June this year, Barguil admitted that he had considered quitting the sport after a difficult first season-and-a-half with the team, during which time he was forced to endure a number of crashes and resultant injuries. His most recent setback was breaking his pelvis in a 70kph crash at the Volta a Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, at the end of March, but he was able to battle back to fitness – and racing – in early June.
"There have been times when I've wanted to quit cycling, but my wife has supported me a lot and I didn't give up. I think that it's life: there are tough moments and very good moments, and I understand that the thing is to not give up," he said at the time.
Barguil has seemingly since enjoyed a new lease of life thanks to the blue, white and red French road race champion's jersey that he won the week before the start of the Tour de France. He then wore the tricolore jersey throughout the three-week race, which, if not quite dominated by the French, was certainly heavily influenced by the home riders. Deceuninck-QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe spent 14 days in the yellow jersey, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) rallied from a bad start to take the polka-dot jersey in Paris, and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) looked poised at one point to win the whole thing, before injury put paid to his campaign.
Barguil was, then, perhaps France's 'fourth man', but he was nothing short of delighted to battle his way into the top 10 overall following a strong showing on the penultimate stage of the race to Val Thorens, having hovered around 11th and 12th place during the preceding week, and then held his position to Paris on the final day.
"For both the team and me, it's a great result," Barguil said on the Arkéa-Samsic website. "My team put its faith in me, and I worked hard, and I rediscovered my best level. Finishing in the top 10 at the biggest bike race in the world was amazing, and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.
"I enjoy three-week races, as I feel as though I'm a tenacious rider with good endurance, who can perform well in the third week of the race. We may not have achieved our goal of me taking a stage win, but finishing in the top 10 demonstrates a real degree of consistency," he said.
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