Pierre-Yves Chatelon can be calm this 2022 season. From the start of the season, the French challengers have been in the game. Antoine Devanne leads the BBB-DirectVelo Challenge, thanks in part to his first stage number Coupe de France N1, Grand Prix du Pays d’Aix (read here). Even Costiou, Mathis Le Berret, Valentin Retaio, Bastien Tronchon, Matteo Verchet or even Axel Huens have already raised their hands, while Jordan Labros took the podium of the first two stages of the Coupe de France N1. Not to mention the good behavior of the riders of the Conti Groupama-FDJ or Louis Barre, the neo-professional Team U Nantes Atlantique. “A lot of Hope walked. It’s encouraging but I’m waiting to see how it develops, a lot can happen in the coming months.”tempers the coach DirectVelo.
The France Espoirs will kick off their season this weekend with two Pro Cups: the Classic Loire-Atlantique (1.1) and the Cholet-Pays de la Loire (1.1). “Given the results of the beginning of the season, this is a choice that can show good results”. With an enticing group in hand, what can the coach expect from this first meeting of the season? “This is the Katteker approach. There is no target result. Racers may be interested in showing off, for example, on a breakaway. It’s also an opportunity to work on automatism to collectively become stronger at the Kattekoers.”
TOUR OF NORMANDY IN COMPETITION
Despite the fact that since February the number of French hopefuls of their advantage, it was not too difficult to establish a selection. “The Tour of Normandy, which starts on Monday, is dropping several riders from the Continentale Groupama-FDJ such as Yuen Costiou, Mathis Le Berre and others such as Paul Penhoe. Those runners were also not available for the Kattekoers the following Sunday. The Normandy tour cut down the selection.”.
This weekend Antoine Devanne will take part in his first races with the tricolor Espoirs. “He won the Chrono des Nations Espoirs, but his start to the season is more of a confirmation. We didn’t necessarily expect it at this level. I couldn’t help but accept it”. However, it is not currently selected for the Cuttekers due to its shortcomings on cobblestones. Unlike his teammate Matteo Verchet, he remained in the France squad for the next two weekends. “He can be priceless on the cobblestones”the coach thinks.
IT IS DIFFICULT TO BUY PROFESSIONALS
Two rounds of the Coupe de France pro will mark the debut of Romain Grégoire for the France Espoirs team. “I also thought about Eddie Le Juitus, but we’re going to give him more time. says Pierre-Yves Chatelon. There was a choice with the outgoing junior. Pierre Gotera could also be one of them. But Romain is still the reigning European Junior Champion. It’s in the continuity”. And he did not miss his debut during the Boucles Drôme-Ardèche, competing against the WorldTeam Groupama-FDJ (read here). So don’t waste your time. “There are also not 50 opportunities for him to be with us. In June, with Giro Espoirs, he may not be available for the Course de la Paix. On the other hand, he has a strong desire to participate in the Tour de l’Avenir.”
This weekend in the Pays de la Loire, Pierre-Yves Chatelon can also count on Hugo Page of the WorldTeam Intermarché-Wanty Gobert. “It’s in anticipation of a possible selection for the World Cup, tell the coach. It’s good to have him once or twice before continuing to work with him after his participation in the World Championship last year. It works “horribly” at the beginning of the season. If there is a mass sprint in Cholet on Sunday…” On the other hand, the former Conti Groupama-FDJ driver will not continue with Kattekoers. His team is counting on him in the Turangel Wheel (1.1). The presence among the French of members of the WorldTeams or ProTeams this season should be rare.. “If riders don’t perform well, their team counts on them for points in the World Tour race.”