Axel Laurance: “It was inconceivable at the start” – News

Villaroger, around 5 p.m. The Blues have completed their Tour de l’Avenir for about 1h30. If everyone enjoys a pizza to “celebrate” the end of the Espoirs stage race, there is one who is not yet completely in the mood for the festivities. Not among the six Blues who had the mission to finish the Tour de l’Avenir as well as possible, but among the staff. Franck Laurance has his eyes riveted more than 1000 kilometers away, on the other side of France. Glued to the laptop, he attends the last kilometers of the Bretagne Classic, in Plouay. His son, Axel, is still in the lead group to fight for the win. Fully behind his offspring, Franck can exult.

The member of B&B Hotels-KTM offers a royal sprint and falls just behind the big favorite of the event: Wout van Aert. “Make 2nd (see ranking), I never would have thought of that. It was inconceivable at first. It’s incredible, I was already very happy to be at the start, I had fun all day, it’s huge”, rejoices Axel Laurance. Resident of Morbihan, just 5 kilometers from the finish line, Axel Laurance took advantage of a walkabout all day. “When I arrived on the first lap, I saw the world, I said to myself “wow”, I had never seen this. To be on the podium is a huge reward. I know the course by heart. J I had been there every year in Plouay since I was a kid, at the presentation I had a slightly different feeling”.


He also does not fail to have a word for his loved ones, and in particular his father who was therefore missing. “All that was missing was my father who was at the Tour de l’Avenir. My friends put my name in the Lézot, it had written “here it’s at Laurance’s”, they were right (smile). All day long you hear your name is very beautiful”. And the neo-pro defended his territory. In the last few hundred meters, and in particular this descent which plunges the riders towards the final straight, Axel Laurance had a very clear plan. “I was really burnt out but I wanted to take van Aert’s wheel at all costs. I didn’t let myself be done. They don’t necessarily respect me compared to the WorldTour teams but I managed to keep my place”.

And the Belgian scarecrow launched its sprint. “When he launched I said to myself why not. I tried to overrun but he maintained his great power, I felt that it was impossible to come back. Sprinting right next to him is already very good”. And so is doing it for victory in a WorldTour race. Especially in Plouay and its difficult course. “I was starting to be in the hard, in the bumps I put on a small chainring each time. Pierro (Rolland) filled up the holes, I resisted to tip over each time. At three kilometers I disconnected everything, I I’m told now that you’re there you have to go!”.


In a very good momentum for a month, and his two stage podiums in Wallonia, Axel Laurance is getting a little closer to a brand victory. “He lacks a little strength, today there is nothing to do. In Poitou I was disappointed because I think I had the possibility of winning, but there I came across stronger, I am very happy to do 2. It’s my first WorldTour race. It was 250 terminals, I had done 215 max, that also plays a role. Being able to try to overtake van Aert is already great. I did everything to win, I am very happy”. And his many experiences in stage races are probably the cause of this dynamic.

“I did a lot of stage races, it also helps. It’s good for the pros to do that, I think. Doing the kilometres, racking up stages. The more I did, the more I advanced in my progression I still show today that I am progressing”notes the former VC Pays de Loudéac rider, who is now ready to tick new boxes. “I just wanted to take the start and see, I didn’t necessarily have any ambitions. In the end, it went well. It was a dream. My first was to turn pro, then win with the pros, and finally win the biggest races in the world. Plouay is my favorite race so that’s part of it”. Who knows, after touching it this year, maybe the dream will come true in the near future.


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