• Warren Barguil savours the experience of rolling across the line first in Stage 18 of the Tour de France (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Warren Barguil’s (Sunweb) performance in the 2017 Tour de France has further ignited the hopes of the French for a home grown winner of the iconic race.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Reuters
21 Jul 2017 - 9:45 AM 

It is 32 years since French cycling fans had a home hero to cheer as an overall winner of the Tour de France, but Barguil's second stage win last night showed signs that he, along with second overall, compatriot Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), could be the men to eventually end the victory drought.

The last French winner, Bernard Hinault in 1985, hailed from Brittany, and three-time Tour champion Greg Lemond has picked out another Breton, Barguil, as the man to end France's long wait.

With Sunday's Paris finish in sight, the 25-year-old currently sits ninth in the general classification for the 2017 Tour, but having won two stages, including Thursday’s summit finish on the iconic Col d’Izoard, Barguil is on course to be crowned king of the mountains.

Stage 18 highlights and report
Barguil victorious again on aggressive Alpine day
Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) claimed his second win of the 2017 Tour de France atop the Col d'Izoard, launching off the front of the group of favourites and sweeping up the breakaway to claim a famous victory.

Four years ago, the Sunweb rider showed early flashes of Hinault-like spirit as he won two stages of the Vuelta a Espana, and he says the man known as 'The Badger' remains an inspiration.

“Bernard Hinault is the idol of all the people of Brittany because he won so many races but also because of his character,” said Barguil.

“We don’t see each other very often but every time we meet we try to chat a little bit.”

For all the praise that is being heaped upon him, Barguil remains committed to his family and his Breton roots.

Also, experiences like the one last year where he and five teammates were hit by a car when out training in Spain - "we could all have died", he said at the time - ensure he has a grounded approach to life. He seems to know his time is yet to come.

“First I will try to get this polka-dot jersey all the way to Paris and I will enjoy all those nice moments, you never know what can happen in life," he said when asked if he was going to focus on the overall classification in next year's Tour.

“Then next year I will target the one-day classics and then the Tour.”

The SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker is the ultimate TDF app experience
This year’s Tour de France on SBS will offer you more than ever before with exclusive live start to finish coverage of every stage through the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker.