Warren Barguil: Different rider, same hunger

French rider returns to his roots and links up with Romain Bardet at Team dsm-firmenich PostNL, with an eye on Classics success

Clock10:18, Friday 29th December 2023
Warren Barguil will race for Team dsm-firmenich PostNL in 2024

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Warren Barguil will race for Team dsm-firmenich PostNL in 2024

At the end of the 2017 season, Warren Barguil’s stock had risen to an all-time high. Fresh off the back of two Tour de France stage wins and the king of the mountains jersey, the French rider was in high demand and a move from Team Sunweb to Team Fortuneo-Samsic duly followed.

Six years later and the now 32-year-old has made the long journey back to his roots, with a three-year deal signed at Team dsm-firmenich PostNL (formerly Sunweb). 

Read more: Warren Barguil returns to dsm-firmenich after six years away

“It’s been a long time, six years, but now I’m back with the team. For sure, I’m a different rider and person. I’m older, I’m married and have two kids, so it’s a different perspective that I arrive here with,” Barguil told GCN at dsm’s recent training camp in Calpe, Spain.

“It’s not that different on the team since I left. It’s still the same. Everything is planned, everything is clear and you know where you need to go. The team has grown a lot, and things have become but it’s still the same feeling here.”

During his time away from the team Barguil never quite hit the highs of that 2017 summer. There was the odd victory here and there, and plenty of gutsy displays in the mountains, but crashes and injuries often held him back. Now a new chapter begins, but the Frenchman isn’t ready to slip into the armchair status of a road captain any time soon.

Instead, Barguil still sees himself as a potential winner, and while he was happy to pass on his vaults of experience to the younger riders on the team, he is eager to add to his palmarès. Linking up with Romain Bardet could prove one of the most interesting subplots of the new season, with the two French veterans on the same trade team for just the first time in their careers.

“I know what I can bring to the team, especially with my experience and I hope to help the young riders as much as possible,” he said.

“What’s nice is that a lot of the young riders here have come up from the development team so they really know how the team works. It makes a lot of things easier when it comes to planning and racing.

“For my objectives, we still need to discuss things with each other between me, the sports director and my coach. I want to reach a good level at some races and then be a helper at other races. But I don’t think I’m a road captain, not yet. The boss, Iwan Spekenbrink brought me here for results, not just for a captain role.

"I’m rooming with Romain Bardet here and I think that we can have some nice results together. I’ll go more for the Classics than the Grand Tours, and then with Romain, we’ll target stage wins in the three-week races. I’m really looking forward to next season.”

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