John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) is once again spending his winter weekends on the cyclo-cross circuit but the Frenchman has explained that he has tailored his programme in order to keep something in reserve for the 2013 road campaign.
“After discussing it with Vincent Lavenu and Julien Jurdie, I’ve decided this year to take part in cyclo-cross for pleasure above all, with the objective of getting to the road season as fresh as possible,” Gadret said, according to his team’s website. “I’m taking some enjoyment out of it and I’m getting some results, so it’s all going well.”
Part of the French team at the world championships in Koksijde last January, this time around Gadret is focused purely on the domestic calendar and will not take part in any World Cup or Superprestige races.
“My next race will be the last round of the National Challenge at Pontchâteau. After that, there are the national championships [on January 13 – ed.] I’m hoping for the podium or the national champion’s jersey, which would be even better.”
Gadret’s best performance of the winter to date came at Remiremont two weeks ago, when he took victory by beating future Ag2r-La Mondiale teammate Steve Chainel and double Olympic mountain bike champion Julien Absalon. On Sunday, Gadret came home in 6th place in the Challenge National event at Dijon.
“I did a good race but I wasn’t feeling the best. This week, I eased off a bit in training,” he told Le Bien Public afterwards.
Vis-à-vis his cyclo-cross campaign in general, Gadret declared himself satisfied with his progress to date. “I haven’t been bad. This year I’m not doing the World Cup, so I don’t have a lot of objectives,” he said. “I’m enjoying my cyclo-cross. Since the start of the season, I haven’t had a single moment where I said to myself, ‘What are you doing here?’”
Gadret said that he simply couldn’t envisage not riding cyclo-cross in the winter. “As I’ve always said, I turned professional thanks to cyclo-cross and it’s a very beautiful discipline. As long as I ride a bike, I’ll do cyclo-cross.”
On the road in 2013, meanwhile, Gadret is hoping to sparkle at the Tour de France and he admitted that he liked what he saw at the route presentation in October.
“I hope to do the Tour de France and – why not? – take a stage win and get a good placing overall. This year the Tour will be more mountainous but there are also two time trials that aren’t so long, including one that is very hard. That might suit me.”