"Would David Gaudu be leader of another WorldTour team? The answer is no" - Cyrille Guimard unimpressed by Groupama - FDJ ahead of Tour de France

For the seventh year running, David Gaudu is heading to the Tour de France later this month. A three-time top-10 finisher, the Frenchman even came 4th back in 2022. His hopes of a similar result this around seem slim however.

At the recent Criterium du Dauphine, the Groupama - FDJ leader will have had big hopes of securing some form and some confidence ahead of the upcoming Grand Tour. Sadly though, it wasn't exactly a reassuring display from the 27-year-old as he finished 15th in the general classification, losing over eleven minutes to eventual race winner, Primoz Roglic.

"The Critérium du Dauphiné is a marker in relation to the Tour de France. In general, all the riders who do well in the Dauphiné do well in the Tour and those who don't do well in the Dauphiné generally don't do well in the Tour. You can't cheat on your level of performance," assesses the experienced French cycling expert Cyrille Guimard in his column for Cyclism'Actu.

In Gaudu's Dauphine performance, Guimard was less than impressed. "Like last year, David Gaudu exploded very quickly, he was never in the mix. Last year, he missed his Dauphiné, then he missed his Tour, finishing ninth when he was aiming for a podium," Guimard explains. "There's a tendency to be a bit chauvinistic and to find reasons why a particular French rider isn't in the race, but I try to be as objective as possible. The question is: would Gaudu be leader of another World Tour team? The answer is no. With Team Visma | Lease a Bike, UAE Team Emirates, Soudal - Quick-Step or BORA - hansgrohe, he would be at the service of others. People make him out to be a great leader because he's in a French team, but the figures are there and they speak for themselves."

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