Démare sets sights on French championships after convincing Wallonie win

Groupama-FDJ’s Arnaud Démare takes the overall victory at the 2020 Tour de Wallonie
Groupama-FDJ’s Arnaud Démare takes the overall victory at the 2020 Tour de Wallonie (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Following his two stage wins and overall victory at the four-day Tour de Wallonie, which concluded on Wednesday, Groupama-FDJ sprinter Arnaud Démare will use his good form to attempt to take his third title at the French national championships road race in Grand-Champ, Brittany, on Sunday.

"I've been thinking about it a lot since they changed the [Nationals] course, which is less difficult than expected," Démare said in a team press release on Wednesday. "With my form and considering the courses I'm able to get over right now, I really believe in my chances."

Teammate, and climber, Thibaut Pinot, has already announced that he will miss the road race on Sunday in order to rest his back, which he injured in a crash at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, and attempt to recuperate in time for the start of the Tour de France in Nice on August 29.

Démare is not part of the eight-man squad for the French WorldTour team for the Tour, and will instead line up for the rescheduled Giro d'Italia in October.

The 28-year-old said that he was a little surprised to be able to win what was the sixth stage race of his career at the Tour de Wallonie. Démare finished the race with a 20-second buffer overall to CCC Team's Greg Van Avermaet, while Spaort Vlaanderen-Baloise's Amaury Capiot was third, a further five seconds back.

"I wouldn't have thought that I could have won the overall at the start of the week, given the course," he admitted, "but the team was very strong. But after winning the second stage, we didn't want to rule anything out. With the time bonuses, we also had a little advantage today. The route was also made for me these last two days, with a few kilometres after the climbs to try to come back."

Groupama-FDJ sports director Frédéric Guesdon added: "When Arnaud is at his best, he is capable of doing very, very great things. For me, it's not much of a surprise. He's been very strong this week, but the team has been just as strong.

"It also must be said that, usually, when you have a strong leader, the others go along with them," he said.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.