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Offredo champions classics over 'boring' Tour de France

Yoann Offredo (FDJ) has admitted that unlike many of his compatriots, he finds the classics far more entertaining than the Tour de France. The Frenchman finished a solid seventh at Sunday’s Paris-Tours and is already thinking ahead to next spring.

“When you’re young and you first discover cycling, of course you watch the Tour de France and not the GP Harelbeke or even Paris-Tours,” Offredo told L’Équipe. “But watching the Tour, apart from a few stages, is a little boring. You might even joke with a friend while your grandfather falls asleep in front of the television, but I don’t think that you could fall asleep watching a Tour of Flanders or a Paris-Roubaix.”

Offredo was one of France’s strongest performers at the world championships and was the sole French representative at the front end of the race when the peloton split in the closing laps. Ultimately the bunch came back together, but the highest-placed Frenchman was 10th-placed Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil), who, like Offredo, did not ride the Tour de France.

“The problem in France is that we have long prepared riders for the Tour, but the hardest thing to do in sport is to target an objective on a specific day,” Offredo said. “I need some stress in the build-up to an event and that’s what gets me through it, to reach the moment where I free myself from this pressure.”

Offredo’s most impressive display of the spring came at Milan-San Remo, where for the second year in succession, he was at the head of affairs at the foot of the Poggio, something which he maintains is not by chance.

“I’m impulsive and a winner, and it’s maybe Milan-San Remo that suits me best,” Offredo said. “I like long and tiring races. I often feel very average during the first five hours [of a race], and then it’s only in the last two that I’m released. I’ve realised that I’m better at the moment when the others start to feel less good.”

A third-year professional, Offredo has just one victory to date, a stage of the Tour de Picardie in 2009, but he appears to be more interested in the quality of his future wins than their quantity. “Like everybody, I’d really like to win a race, it doesn’t matter what,” Offredo said. “But next year, what I really hope for is to be among those who can contest the win in the Classics and not be satisfied with a place in the top 10.”

Offredo will finish his season at the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday, where he will lead the FDJ line-up.

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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.