Rémi Cavagna explodes against Movistar: "I came to the team to progress and I feel like I've taken a step backwards"

It's a little scary to think how in modern cycling changing equipment can change a rider's performance so much. How 2 or 3 months of nutrition or gear change can lead to an extreme performance change. That seems to be what's happening with Rémi Cavagna, who does not seem so happy with his transfer from Soudal - Quick-Step to Movistar Team.

If we look at Matteo Jorgenson, for example, in 2023 he was a great cyclist who could win stages. Just a few months later, at the start of 2024 with Visma, he was no longer a great cyclist, he was one of the best stage-racers in the world who won Paris-Nice back in March and came incredibly close to winning the Criterium du Dauphiné just a few weeks ago.

Cavagna himself signed a three-year deal with the Spanish team last winter but has thus far not been able to perform among the best, neither in the road stages or time-trials.

"I came to the team to progress and I feel like I've taken a step backwards in a few months," Cavagna said in words to L'Équipe. "I'm not even good enough to finish in the top 50 in the Tour of Belgium (he refers to the GC, and not time-trial where he was 16th, ed.). That's not my place; that's not what I'm worth. But that doesn't seem to bother anyone, apart from myself."

He then hinted at his real complaint: he's going to sit out the Tour de France: "It was something I didn't like at Quick Step: they changed my program and I couldn't concentrate on specific objectives. And here we're going the same way. Of course, I'm a bit disappointed because I imagined something different. You can't change a rider's schedule after a month; for that, it's better not to sign him".

Cavagna was fourth at the recent time-trial nationals, a better sign than his spring, but it's unlikely to be enough to secure him a position at the Tour de France where he was initially planned to ride: "I don't know if I'm going to ride the Tour. I took it for granted, but I haven't received any news lately."

"I reconned the time trials and they are very cool; there are also other very nice stages... And I know that a victory in the Tour de France can change a sporting life. I haven't been at a glorious level this season, but I think I'm improving. Riding as a free rider, one stage would be enough for me to turn my season. If I don't go to the Tour, it will be a blow."

The language barrier has also become an obstacle much harder than what he could've imagined: I’ve progressed in Spanish, I’ve taken some courses, I invested in that and I understand almost everything. But when I want to express myself a bit, I’ve found myself on the limit, and it’s a bit rubbish when I try to integrate myself."

"The Spanish form a bit of a block in the team, everything’s in Spanish on the race radio, and that’s complicated in the important moments of the race. Right now, I’m not giving them anything and they’re not giving me anything. It’s complicated.”

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