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"I know we are in France and we need a duel, a new Anquetil-Poulidor. There has always been tension between those two because they excel in the same area, in the sprint. They are two hotspurs and that is normal."

Photo: Sirotti






02.01.2015 @ 11:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

FDJ manager Marc Madiot has closed the page after the controversy with Nacer Bouhanni last season. In the future, he will be a rival of the French sprinter who has joined Cofidis. "There will be no gifts from us," Madiot says.



For a long time, it was no secret that there was tension in the FDJ camp but it became evident when Bouhanni told L'Equipe that he "only had a small gun" while the others "had a bazzoka". FDJ manager Marc Madiot still thinks it was right not to select the Frenchman for Milan-Sanremo and the Tour de France and claims not to have suspended his rider after he withdrew from the Vuelta a Espana. "It hurts to read things on the social networks. But now I want to speak with low, quite voice because we have turned the page. I wish him good luck," he tells L'Equipe.



Madiot does not the deny that it was difficult to have Bouhanni and Arnaud Demare in the same team. "I know we are in France and we need a duel, a new Anquetil-Poulidor. There has always been tension between those two because they excel in the same area, in the sprint. They are two hotspurs and that is normal. That has made them and everyone else in the team grow because they had to keep up with each other. They have benefited from each other. But it was time to separate them," he says.


And Madiot claims that he did not offer Bouhanni a contract extension because he lacked the money. "I did not have the means. We have always been looking for a co-sponsor. I dreamed about having one before the French Championships and the Tour de France but it wasn't to be. That does not take anthing away from Bouhanni's qualities and I have a lot of respect for his work. I want to make it clear that he came to us as a neo-pro and everybody didn't love him. Now he leaves as one of the stars in the professional peloton so we have not done too bad. He also wanted to stay but after the Vuelta, it got complicated.  I didn't have the money. In 2014, I made an offer but I was unable to make an adequate one," he tells the French sports daily.



Now it is time to follow separate paths. "I have already taken the next step. His departure allowed us to hire two young sprinters Manzin and Sarreau who are the much like Bouhanni when he turned pro with us. I hope to build them in the same way. Next year, I'll be at the start of the races; if he wants to say hello, I will great him. He is a great sprinter. He will continue to progress but he is now in a new team where he has to rebuild everything and it is no longer my problem. My problem is to win, to beat him. In the races, there will be no gift from us," Madiot says.



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