Not selected for the Tour de France, Bruno Armirail did not hide his disappointment. Especially since the Groupama-FDJ rider responded by winning the time trial in the French championships.

“Very big disappointment not to be on the Tour de France. I have no words on the eve of the French Championship chrono…” Bruno Armirail will definitely have had a funny week. Tuesday evening, the Groupama-FDJ rider learned that he did not appear in the list of eight riders selected by his team for the Tour de France, unveiled the next day. On Thursday, the rider from Marc Madiot’s team took some revenge by winning his first French time trial championship titleahead of the last two winners Rémi Cavagna and Benjamin Thomas.

But unsurprisingly, his non-selection for the Tour was at the center of conversation during his appearance in front of the press. “It’s hard to explain. When you’re not a rider it’s hard to understand, when you’re so close to being in the team to do the Tour… If I had had a catastrophic start to the season I would have totally understood it, but I I arrived at Dauphiné being sick, I almost didn’t take the start, it happened the day before at noon. The beginning was difficult, the end was better. The shape gradually increased. I returned to altitude at home. I had prepared everything to do the Tour. Unfortunately, I will be ready, but on my couch in July”regretted Armirail, in remarks reported by the DirectVélo site.

Disagree on team strategy

It’s not so much Armirail’s level of fitness that posed a problem, but more a question of profile. To support the leaders Thibaut Pinot, David Gaudu and Michael Storer, the leaders of Groupama-FDJ notably preferred the Canadian Antoine Duchesne, considered more able to rub in a first week which promises to be often very nervous. ” The explanation is team strategy. They make the general, they go there for that, explains Armirail, “all-purpose” runner, good rider and good climber, but not necessarily the most comfortable when it comes to elbowing. Apparently it would be for the first week, yes. It’s true that it’s quite complicated, but I don’t think we’ll win the Tour there. We can lose it, it’s true. But when you have four riders for curbs… And who says there will be curbs? Who says there will be wind? I think the Tour is won more in the second or third week, but for them it’s the first that counts so we’ll see. »

“They said that I was not necessarily good enough to drive”

Armirail does not hide his bitterness, he who received a message of comfort from Gaudu. “But David like the others can’t say much about the selection. It is the sporting directors who decide.he says.

The 28-year-old runner is struggling to digest his disappointment, even if he responded in the best way by going for this blue-white-red jersey, and incidentally the first pro success of his career. “I still appreciate it, it’s a title. The disappointment is still there, knowing that it was said that I was not necessarily good enough to drive, he answers. I think today I showed that I can do it too, like riding in the mountains. The disappointment will be there for a while, but that’s how it is, I’ll try to bounce back, maybe in the Vuelta, to get some stage wins. »