Five new WorldTours
“With the rider extensions that will be announced soon, we will have 26 riders in 2023. And if we have opportunities, maybe we will go up to 28. So far, I have signed five riders from WordTour. We are strengthening in all areas. I didn’t sign a leader for the simple and good reason of not being on the market. There may be one or two more recruits. Let’s see. Some leaked names are completely fake. On the other hand, yes, I almost signed Michael Matthews. In the end he preferred to stay with his current team (Team BikeExchange). Jean-Louis Le Ny (WB Fybolia Morbihan) will not come to us. »
“Yes, we talked. He is not one of the five who have already signed. He is the one I love the most. I really like him to come to us, but it’s a bit complicated. Cavendish is a cycling legend. There is sport but not only… It looks like a negotiation for the recruitment of a player. He wants to come closer to us but he also doesn’t want to back away from us. If he comes, it is victory. We want to be together. Now, for his recruitment, let’s say it’s 50-50. »
Second place for Axel Laurance in the Bretagne Classic
“I followed the final of the race on television (it was a wedding). At one point, I said to myself that he (Axel Laurance) will do it. I’m super proud of him, and also of the team. Just imagine: on the podium of the Bretagne Classic with a neo-professional we trained at VCP Loudéac. Behind the untouchable Van Aert, too. So yes, I shed tears. It was magic.
With the podium of Franck (Bonnamour), last year, in the Champs-Élysées (he was chosen Super combative in the Tour 2021) and Franck’s victory in the last Polynormande, our first French Cup, this is our best chance since the creation of the team. We’re always good in August but this has been crazy! »
The development of the B&B Hotels-KTM team
“After a complicated season, the team has a face that we want. Like what, it’s good to talk to each other, sometimes. We have Axel (Laurance) who finished 2nd in Plouay but we also have Alan (Boileau) and Maxime (Chevalier) who is good at the Tour of Germany. These three kids have not been out of the Tour yet, which means they are working a lot.
I also want to give a big thumbs up to Pierre (Rolland). We told him we needed him after the Tour de France and he responded. He is the image of the team, he must be happy to perform.
In hindsight, maybe we were too happy after the Tour de France last year, maybe we didn’t do everything we needed to be good from the start of the season. »
Everything leads me to think that Axel Laurance will be a very good one
“His second place in the WorldTour opens up many prospects for him. I don’t want to get carried away but here, we are still at a high level. I don’t know where he will reach, I don’t want to project myself. Sometimes I’m wrong. But everything leads me to think that he can be very big. I’m not surprised that he worked among the pros but from there to 2nd in Plouay in his first year… Did you know that he took the his responsibilities during the briefing? When Didier (Rous, the sporting director) asked the boys who felt capable of making the final of the Bretagne Classic, he answered “me”. This is rare for a child.
But, you know, Axel has done well since the beginning of the year. I can tell you now: if he had not had covid during the French championship, he would have been on the pre-list for the Tour de France. The idea now is to extend his contract. He will be an important part of the team. »
The future of the team
“I have not spoken since the arrival of the Tour de France on July 24. But, sure, everything is fine (the newspaper L’Équipe revealed that the City of Paris decided to associate its name with the formation of B&B Hôtels ).We are moving forward, we are refining things. We will communicate in the second half of September. Before speaking to the press, I have to speak to my institutions and my colleagues. I think that this will enable people to speaking, that people will ask themselves. Me, no. I don’t need to say more. Let’s say I stop talking. The main name of the team is Paris. Its budget is about fifteen million. At the end of September, the whole project will be explained by Madame Anne Hidalgo (the mayor of Paris), Emmanuel Grégoire (his first deputy), Didier Quillot and myself. »
The group of women
“It has the same name as our boys group. It includes 12 runners. Recruitment is complete, it’s not easy. I said it, I would very much like Audrey Cordon-Ragot in my squad. »
A Breton identity
“Contrary to everything that can be said, we will remain Breton in 2023. Breton-Parisian, if you like, but we will remain Breton. The team headquarters will remain in Theix (near Vannes). We will have a central office in Paris but we will always have a Breton identity. When Jean-René Bernaudeau signs with TotalEnergies, his team stays in the Vendée, right? Yes, we will take the name of the city to Paris, yes, we will improve cycling there but no, we will not move. Our academy will remain Glaz, our reserve team will remain VCP Loudéac. Our knowledge will not change either. The team will always be presented at the Grand-Champ. There are Breton references on our jersey, we can’t forget where we came from.”