France names Alexandre Geniez to final Worlds spot

Alexandre Geniez's stage 12 win at the Vuelta a Espana was enough to lift him into a spot on the French team for the UCI Road World Championships road race on September 30.

The 30-year-old AG2R La Mondiale rider will join Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), Pierre Rolland (EF Education First-Drapac) and Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) on the start line in Innsbruck.

Writing on the French federation's website, national coach Cyrille Guimard said Geniez's performance on the Vuelta stage to Faro de Estaca de Bares tipped the scales in his favour over riders such as Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic), Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale). 

"My choice fell on Alexandre Geniez and I chose him precisely because he competed in this event. It is the three-week block of work represented on this event that made the difference in my eyes," Guimard wrote.

"The Tour of Spain and the performance of Alexandre Geniez in this competition is the conclusion on which I can rely," Guimard continued. "The majority of riders who will do well on the demanding circuit of the Austrian world championships, apart from two or three exceptions, will come from the Tour of Spain."

Barguil responded to the disappointment on Instagram, writing that the "love and respect" he has for wearing the French jersey "will always be stronger" than the disappointment of missing out on this year's selection.

"This race was one of my goals," Barguil wrote. "I had prepared for this race a few weeks ago, then I had good performances in the Tour of Germany and the Grand Prix of Wallonia. But that was not enough. The national coach has made his choices that I respect, do as I please no negative comments about him or the team of France. I also give all my support to the selected riders. I will now focus on the last goals that I have left with @fortuneosamsic, kicking ass this last month of competition."

Yoann Paillot and Benjamin Thomas, who replaced Alexis Gougeard, will compete for France in the individual time trial on September 26.

France roster for UCI Road World championships elite men's road race: Julian Alaphilippe, Romain Bardet, Thibaut Pinot, Rudy Molard, Tony Gallopin, Pierre Rolland, Anthony Roux

France roster for UCI Road World championships elite men's individual time trial: Yoann Paillot, Benjamin Thomas

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