Disappointment can be read on their faces. Although there are two for having finished in the Top 10 (see classification), the French could claim much better this Friday in the Junior World Championship. “We are upset”summarizes in one sentence Thibaud Gruel, at the microphone of DirectVelowhen returning to the tricolor race.
Until the bell, the French could still largely dream of rainbows. Behind the untenable Antonio Morgado who left before the start of the last round, France can then count on Paul Magnier and Thibaud Gruel, in a group of seven elements. “We had the perfect race until that last lap. We were all strong, but we got stuck with (Antonio) Morgado at the helm.”Thibaud Porridge breathes. Paul Magnier then makes the decision to sacrifice himself for his teammate. “They thought I was better”specifies the current leader of the MorphoLogics Juniors Challenge.
But the mountain biker, too generous, did not ask for the slightest relief from the cyclists who accompanied him. “We take the others to a set. We should have shot them with us. Paul did it all by himself.”. At the foot of the pothole, Emil Herzog put one in and then took off to go challenge Portugal’s Antonio Morgado for the win. “He took the pedal on the last lap. (Emil) Herzog put us ten yards on the rise.”reports Thibaud Gruel, who tried to accompany him along with the Norwegian Jorgen Nordhagen, before laying down his arms.
“WITH A LITTLE LUCK WE COULD HAVE BEAT HIM”
Behind the leading duo, the two Frenchmen fought for the bronze medal within a group of ten riders. “I wanted to attack with the red flame but it passed right in front of me, suddenly it was over… So it was not easy to make a decision in the last kilometer”says that Thibaud Gruel took seventh place while Paul Magnier finished fourth. “It is disappointing, there is no medal. We had a good race but it’s not satisfactory”.
Quoted among the outsiders at the start, Noa Isidore wants to highlight the good behavior of his teammates. Without hiding a great personal disappointment. “I immediately understood that it was going to be very long for me. I really don’t understand why I’m so far away, it’s not at all what I expected. I worked a lot and I’m 22 years old. I was very consistent this year, I never had a day without, and now I have more or less one. I can’t say I felt bad, I didn’t. I have no explanation”. Thibaud Gruel, on the other hand, had “best legs” of your year. Which undoubtedly accentuates the regrets. “I dreamed so much about winning or winning at least one medal…”.
Although disappointed, the French salute the winner of the day. “Emil is very strong, we expected that. He was the big favourite. It is the first time that he makes me so face ”tries to smile Noa Isidore. “He is number 1 in the world, he won the Course de la Paix, the Valromey… I prefer it to be him than someone nobody knows who arrives today. He deserves”adds Thibaud Porridge. But the runner from Indre-et-Loire cannot avoid redoing the scene of the race when he evokes the German to the French father. “I was alone today. We were five. With a bit of luck, we could have won it.”