By Jean-François Quénet in Plumelec
One week after finishing third in the Tour of Catalunya where he wore the yellow jersey for three days, Rémi Pauriol has been seen riding aggressively in the GP Plumelec although he didn't find the way to score his first win of the season. "I like the races in circuits", said the former amateur French champion (in 2004 in Boulogne-sur-Mer).
"The Tour of Catalunya has been my first result in a stage race", he continued. "Had I have been told before the start that I'd finish third in such an international event, I'd have been super happy, but now I'm disappointed that I lost the leader's jersey on the last day." On a very wet day on the way to Barcelona, he mostly focused on runner up Josep Jufre from Saunier Duval but seven riders were only separated by 11 seconds on GC and a breakaway finally crowned Gustavo Cesar Veloso from Karpin-Galicia the winner.
"It was a very interesting week with so many unusual stage wins by French riders," Pauriol said in reference to Cyril Dessel, Pierrick Fedrigo and Sylvain Chavanel while his Norwegian team-mate from Crédit Agricole Thor Hushovd also won the prologue and stage one. "But at the end, it was still an overall victory by a Spanish rider."
"I want to look at my ride positively though", he continued. "Initially I saw the Tour of Catalunya as a training session for the Dauphiné where I'll have to gain my selection for the Tour de France. What I did in Spain in a one-week long race is encouraging. It brings a lot of confidence. Now I feel I'm mature enough for riding the Tour de France for the first time but I will not announce that I'll produce results at the Dauphiné or anywhere for sure. I still prefer to create a surprise than disappoint people."
Crédit Agricole is one of these typical French teams who don't finalize their Tour de France roster before the end of the national championships, so the 26-year-old from Marseille will have to wait and see.