“This Dauphine will make me improve” - David Gaudu takes optimistic look at disappointing Tour de France warmup

Entering the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine, David Gaudu and Groupama - FDJ were hopeful of signalling their Tour de France intentions with a solid crack at the general classification. Sadly for the Frenchman, that wasn't quite how things turned out.

On the final stage, Gaudu got himself in the breakaway in an attempt to end the week on a high with a stage win. Despite the strength in the lead group however, the breakaway were caught by the peloton on the final climb, with INEOS Grenadiers' Carlos Rodriguez eventually taking the stage win and BORA - hansgrohe's Primoz Roglic holding onto the Maillot Jaune in a thrilling finale.

“We were a really good group, I thought we could do it, but they didn’t give us enough time. It is how it is, even though the best rider overall, which was Soler, was quite far," reflects the 27-year-old Frenchman, in a post-stage interview with Groupama - FDJ's official website. “I was already quite exhausted coming to the final climb, then I did the best I could. I didn’t have much left in the end”.

“The goal of this Dauphiné was to get back on track, make some good efforts, and test myself against the others,” concludes Gaudu, who finished the race 15th overall. “We are racers, so we obviously want to get results. But it’s already difficult to get results when you’re at 100%, and I know I wasn’t 100% here. This Dauphiné, on the other hand, will make me improve. We are on a rising phase. I often succeeded in the Tour when I worked well on the Dauphiné. So see you in the Tour!”

“In the mountains, we were missing a little something to fight up front, but the team worked well for the future," adds sports director Benoit Vaugrenard in reflection. "Above all, they had an impact on the race. There is still work to do, we know that, but the French championship will allow us to continue building up, and there are still three weeks left before the Tour.”

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