(Calpe) Finished the race for the general classification: in 2024, Romain Bardet will aim for stage victories in the next Tour de France, which will perhaps be the last of his career, he told AFP on Monday .
At the end of his contract at the end of the year, the 33-year-old climber from Auvergne, currently in training with his DSM team in Calpe, in the south-east of Spain, said he was “deeply considering” the possibility of extend his career beyond that.
“I will make my decision around the Tour (June 29-July 21). I’m in a pretty comfortable situation because things are going very well with the team, the door is open to continue,” he said. “I still feel very good physically. But I want to make an impact and not be there just because it’s comfortable. And I kind of feel like I’ve come around the circuit.”
What are the conditions that would cause him to continue? “If things go very well this year and I find myself at the front in the races I have targeted. Or if I didn’t manage to win the Giro and I want to continue to try one last time. »
Winner of three stages on the Tour and a stage on the Vuelta, Bardet will indeed try to enter the club of riders having won on the three major Tours during the Giro in May, his first big objective of the season, during which he will not abandon the general classification either.
“The priority will be to win a stage. But I’m not going to get up voluntarily. On the Tour, yes, that’s for sure. I have already made top 10 multiple times on the Tour, that no longer interests me, I have finished sixth three times and no one cares, me first of all now,” he explained.
Second in the Tour de France in 2016, third the following year, Bardet has six top 10s in the general classification of the Tour de France. He retired in 2023 after a violent fall during the 14th stage.
“I want to approach the Tour in a different way. Besides, if it turns out to be the last one, I want to enjoy it, get back up and some days, go all out. When you do the Tour for the general, you don’t really appreciate it. It’s at 100 miles an hour all the time,” insisted the Auvergne who plans to participate in the Tour of the Alps as preparation and perhaps in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.