Big Moves and Transfers in French Cycling: Arnaud Démare, Julian Alaphilippe, and More

2023-08-01 17:49:23

The cycling transfer window, traditionally launched on August 1, promises to be active for the big fish in the French peloton. In addition to Arnaud Démare, whose arrival has already been formalized at Arkéa, many of them will be able to change teams by next season.

Demare, at Arkéa with immediate effect

The arrival of Arnaud Démare at Arkéa-Samsic had been in the pipeline for a few weeks and his non-selection by Groupama-FDJ for the last Tour de France. But after twelve years and 93 victories with his team, we imagined the triple champion of France to end the season before packing his bags. Except that the Picard rider has reached an agreement with Groupama-FDJ to terminate his contract and join his new team from August 1. To quickly turn the page.

Alaphilippe, the big file

Since his title of world champion in 2021, Julian Alaphilippe has chained the galleys, including a serious fall during Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April 2022. Far from his best level, he is regularly the target of his manager Patrick Lefevere, talkative in the media. The Belgian boss no longer wants to pay as much for a runner who does not perform enough.

After ten seasons at Quick-Step, “Alaf” could therefore leave the cocoon that made him king. But he has one year left on his contract, which Lefevere is not ready to give up without consideration. Some rumors have regularly mentioned a possible arrival of Julian Alaphilippe in a French team, potentially at AG2R-Citroën, Total Energies or Arkéa, which all have the financial means to hire him.

Barguil, the possible return to basics

Leader of the Arkéa-Samsic team since his arrival in the Breton team in 2018, Warren Barguil will change air this winter, according to L’Equipe. At the end of the contract this year, the Frenchman has never played at his level in the 2017 Tour at Arkéa and has not received an extension proposal from his manager Emmanuel Hubert. He could return to DSM-Firmenich, where he raced between 2012 and 2017, when the team was called Argos, Giant then Sunweb.

Bouhanni, Cavagna and Senéchal in uncertainty

The big change at Arkéa should go further than the Démare and Barguil cases. Nacer Bouhanni, No. 1 sprinter since 2020, is out of contract this year and the arrival of Arnaud Démare makes an extension unlikely. The two did not get along at Groupama-FDJ and will not live together at Arkéa. Bouhanni, 33, wants to find a team but nothing is done and an end to his career is not completely impossible.

At Quick-Step, two former French champions are also out of contract: Rémi Cavagna and Florian Sénéchal. The first would interest the Movistar team, very active on the transfer market, but the second, who was not selected for the last Tour de France and is having a disappointing season, has not yet been announced anywhere.

Robin Wattraint Journalist RMC Sport

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