Geoffrey Bouchard landed his first professional victory at the Tour of the Alps on Monday, holding off the chasers with a brave solo effort on stage 1 after finding himself in the breakaway of the day almost by chance.
The Frenchman has won the mountains jersey at the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España with determined, consistent riding for three weeks but finally experienced the unique emotions of victory at the foot of the Dolomites in Primiero/San Martino di Castrozza on stage 1 .
Bouchard has been a professional with AG2R Citroën since 2018 but had to fight for his first victory just as he had to fight hard for his place in the peloton.
"Last year I missed out on a stage win in the Giro. I was caught in the last few hundred metres," he recalled of the stage 9 dirt road finish stage 9 to Campo Felice when Egan Bernal blasted past him to win.
"I managed to turn professional because I worked hard, not because I’m super talented. I’ve done some good things like winning the mountain jerseys but I was missing a win. The goal in cycling is always to win. Now, fortunately, I have won too.
"Maybe I’m not very confident in my ability sometimes but I’ve always worked hard. When I was an under-23 rider I was never in the national team. I still studied at university and worked part-time in Decathlon. Then one year I asked my parents if I could stop working to […]