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'Wawamania': The birth of France's newest son, Warren Barguil

Barguil becomes France's latest love affair and fuels rumours of move to a French team

Joe Robinson
27 Jul 2017

Ever searching for a new hero, the French public have found their newest love, Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb).

After a successful Tour de France that saw the Breton take two stage victories and the polka-dot climber's jersey, France has succumbed to its latest craze, 'Wawamania'. 

The frequent attacks of the 25-year-old, coupled with sparks of flair, a charming manner with the media and victory on Bastille Day, has led to Barguil swooning the hearts of his home nation. 

In his latest interview with L'Equipe, Barguil suggested that by ignoring his power data and riding simply by feeling he was able to experience his stage success; a method that will undoubtably please the purists. 

'The public that loves cycling does not enjoy watching races where everything is calculated by power metres. I wish things could change.' said Barguil.

'This year I realised I had more confidence in myself when I attacked rather than when I rode defensively,' adding, 'I calculate things a lot less than in the past.'

When most had earmarked stage 18's summit finish to the Col d'Izoard as one for the general classification riders, Barguil dared to attack, distancing the field taking his second stage. 

Earlier in the Tour, Barguil managed to win the shortest stage of this year's Tour, outsprinting Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) into Foix.

Barguil is the latest darling of French cycling, joining the likes of Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) as the nation's chosen son. 

Currently riding for German team, Team Sunweb, Barguil took two of the four stages for the team this year, with Michael Matthews taking the other half. Matthews also managed to take the green sprinters jersey alongside Barguil's polka-dots.

Despite the success Barguil has enjoyed with Team Sunweb, rumours have been circulating regarding his future with various teams showing interest. Whilst both AG2R La Mondiale and FDJ have been linked with deals, Team Sky and Astana are also reported to be interested according to reports in L'Equipe and De Telegraaf.

Another option could be Jerome Pineau's new Breton-based side backed by Vital Concept, that could see Barguil headline his home team.

“I feel Breton first and then French, that’s in my blood and I’m proud of it,' adding, 'I have always kept in touch with the managers of the French teams and they’ve made me offers to join them.'

'I would now be ready to go back to France, but I’ll never forget what I experienced at Sunweb.'