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Romain Bardet: Off the Wall

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“Don’t take it too seriously, it’s only sport.” Karaoke choices, drinks with Wiggins and apologies to maths teachers. Ag2r-La Mondiale’s dynamic team leader goes deep

Photographs: Michael Blann
Romain Bardet

Rouleur: What books are you reading at the moment?

Bardet: Décadence by Michel Onfray [Ed – described by one reviewer as delivering “an apocalyptic vision of the collapse of the Judeo-Christian civilisation that forged the West for 2,000 years, dictated by the Muslim threat, but above all the errors of Christianity.”]

 

What’s your karaoke song of choice?

Les lacs du Connemara by Michel Sardou.

 

 

When was the last time you cried, and why?

While watching a video made by my friends for my 25th birthday.

 

What is the worst thing a spectator ever did or said to you during a bicycle race?

“Come on, go faster! As well as being doped, they’re lazy too!”

 

When was the last time you won a bunch sprint, what were the circumstances? And will it ever happen again?

In the under-23 ranks in a stage finish of the Tour des Pays de Savoie [2011]. Yes – in case there’s a sprint at the top of a mountain…

 

Panache: what is it, and is it important?

Panache, it’s cycling, the authentic, the desirable. It’s what gives this sport its real appeal in allowing a rider to push himself to his limits.

 

What is the secret to success?

Travail et Abnégation. In English: dedication!

 

What things keep you up at night?

I’m a champion sleeper. Otherwise, sometimes the pain in my legs after a race is very intense.

 

What’s the worst job you’ve done?

I haven’t got a big working experience. I’ve been a student, communications intern and professional sportsman, and I’ve only had good experiences.

 

Romain Bardet

What makes you laugh?

Satirical political programmes and articles.

 

You have a fantasy dinner party. You can invite three guests, past or present. And what would you cook for them?

Serge Gainsbourg, [Canadian actor] Xavier Dolan and Bradley Wiggins over some pints of beer.

 

What were your alternative career plans if cycling did not work out?

Launch a startup and live for it 100 per cent.

 

What is your favourite word?

Disruption.

 

What is your most treasured possession?

The presence of my family.

Romain Bardet

To whom would you like to sorry, and why?

To my old maths teacher who thought it was impossible to succeed healthily in cycling, a sport plagued by doping. Désolé. Monsieur!

 

How do you relax?
I listen to economic and political current affairs programmes.

 

Finally, do you have a request for the cycling media, funny or earnest?

Don’t take it too seriously, it’s only sport.

 

From Rouleur issue 17.4

 

Paris Roubaix mug
Bernard Hinault mug