Coquard produced a searing turn of speed at the end of the 237km fourth stage of this year's Tour from Saumur to Limoges, very nearly stealing victory from Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quickstep) from a long way back.
He faced an agonising wait to find out if he would be the first Frenchman to win a sprint stage of the Tour de France in more than a decade.H e also ran third on Monday's stage from Granville to Angers.
Coquard is clearly close to scoring a Tour victory, but it seems he already believes he's done enough to get a spot in the French cycling hall of fame.
" I think I belong with the greats now," he said after his narrow loss to Kittel. "I'm young but I'm a winner."
He added that he was disappointed to be pipped for the victory, especially after his surge from the back of the sprinting group.
"I could see I was making it back but it was not enough. I'm very disappointed but I must not give up. There are still lots of chances left," he added.
"There is no mistake in the sprints, the stronger wins. I was never as close to victory but I haven't won yet. I want to win this year on the Tour."