New French champion Paul Lapeira shouldn't miss Tour de France selection: "I think there's a good chance you'll see me on the roads of Tour"

France has a new champion, and whoever guessed they'd wear the Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale jersey... was correct. The French WorldTour team is flying in 2024 and Paul Lapeira doesn't break the rule. Part of long 3-man attack, Lapeira didn't give the slightest chance to his opponents Julien Bernard and Thomas Gachignard in the final uphill kick to take the road title.

The 24-year-old is already in his third year as a professional, but it's only now he's finally making a name for himself in the peloton. With stage win at Izulia Basque Country and two victories in French 1.1 races, Lapeira seems worthy of wearing the French tricolor for next 12 months.

It means even more for Lapeira, who grew up in Fougeres, training daily on the roads of this year's National championships route. "I dreamed of it, I'm 5 kilometers from home, these are the roads I trained on when I was little, the race was perfect," declared the new French champion in an interview afterwards.

"The team was perfect, there was not a misstep, the jersey will be on my shoulders but everyone will have a piece of it, it was a dream day," continued Lapeira. He then explained his tactics behind joining an attack from afar: "I wanted to race against the big names. Personally, I had the perfect race, nothing more beautiful can happen in my career."

Lapeira also spoke about his team's season and potential participation at the Tour de France: "The season is incredible for us. At the beginning we said it was incredible, I think today we are right in our place and we harvest what has been worked on for months, the material we have this year is fantastic For the moment, there is nothing official, but I think there's a good chance you'll see me on the roads of the Tour."

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