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Démare: It's a big disappointment to miss Tour de France selection

French rider of team Groupama FDJ Arnaud Demare reacts after he won the 115th edition of the 2123 km ParisTours one day cycling race in Tours Central France on October 10 2021 Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT AFP Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANTAFP via Getty Images
Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) after his victory in Paris-Tours in October (Image credit: Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images)

Arnaud Démare has admitted his disappointment at not making Groupama-FDJ's selection for this year's Tour de France.

The French sprinter took part in his fifth Tour last year but finished outside the time cut on stage 9 and left the race with just a fourth place to his name. He has two career victories at the race, compared to five stages at the Giro d'Italia, where he'll line up once again in 2022.

Speaking at his team's presentation ahead of the upcoming season, Démare said that he has accepted the decision to ride the Giro while the team focuses on the GC battle at the Tour with Thibaut Pinot, David Gaudu, and Michael Storer.

"Of course, it's a big disappointment for me that I will ride the Tour de France this year," he said. "It's not because things didn't work out last year that it would automatically go wrong again – you have to remember that I've won two stages there in the past.

"But that's the team's choice. We pursue the team's interest, not just my own goals. Because it's the best for the team, I accept it."

While Démare didn't win a stage at the Tour or at the Vuelta a España in 2021, he did enjoy success in races outside the WorldTour throughout the season. The 30-year-old took nine victories, including two stages of the Volta a la Valenciana and three stages and the overall at the Boucles de la Mayenne before rounding off his season with a win from a small lead group at Paris-Tours.

That volume of wins is nothing to be sniffed at, though he did finish his season without a victory at a major WorldTour race for the first time since 2015. Démare said he wasn't best pleased with how his 2021 campaign went.

"There are some years when your hard work is not rewarded," he said. "That's discouraging. But winning Paris-Tours in the autumn really did me good and, knowing that the results would come in the end, I had a good winter. Consequently, I have set myself big goals again this year."

He's set to kick off his 2022 season at the UAE Tour before heading to Italy for Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo, which he won back in 2016.

Paris-Roubaix is also on his calendar before heading to the Giro d'Italia, where he won four stages and the points jersey two years ago. The sprinter-friendly Worlds in Australia will also be among his goals.

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Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.