To mark the end of the cycling season, Ti Sport brings you a roundup of each of its Breton riders. Today, FDJ rider Valentin Maduas is in the spotlight.
At the end of a season marked by his 10th place in the Tour de France, the Brest native surprised many. So it is logical to ask now if this year was exceptional or if there will be others of the same caliber, or even of better quality. Before answering that question, let’s take a look at his season as a whole, because yes, Finistérien didn’t just shine at the Grande Boucle.
On the Tour of the Alps, Valentin Madouas started his season in mid-February. He is already showing good form by finishing third on stage two before finishing fourth in the general classification the next day. Things really start a couple of weeks later with the start of the Paris-Nice meeting, the first big meeting of the season. Our Breton will not come to the Ile-de-France region with the aim of playing in the general classification and instead focus on stage wins.
After three days of sprinters and a lap time, Valentin Madouas finally had a chance to break away during the fifth stage. With 5 climbs listed, the route is ideal for taking the points in the polka dot jersey and Brestois capitalizes on it. Despite finishing seventh, he collected 28 points and thus wore the distinguished jersey of the best climber which he would keep until the final finish, a great achievement!
Very good classics
If you thought a Groupama-FDJ rider only knew how to climb, you’d be surprised! Finisterian made a very good classic showing all his versatility. He started this campaign with the E3 GP, a traditional preparation race for the Tour of Flanders. At the end of a disjointed battle between the favourites, Valentin Madouas finished seventh after finishing in the second group. Only brought down by the Jumbo-Visma duo: Van Aert-Laporte, elusive that day. Brestois followed a few days later with an 11th-place finish at A Travers les Flandres.
At the start of the Tour of Flanders, Valentin Maduas can hope for a top 10 at best given the group of champions on the starting line. But the nature of the race makes everything turn upside down in the final. After a 4-man sprint, Britton was able to pass Pogacar on the line and take third place, a phenomenal performance! A few days later, he distinguished himself in the Ardennes classics this time with a fourteenth-place finish in the Amstel Gold Race. He finished his classic campaign with two 34th places in Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
An amazing Tour de France
As a teammate of David Gaudeau, Valentin Madouas presented himself in the Tour de France after the mediocre Dauphine. In the first part of the Grande Boucle he is quite discreet except for the fifth stage during which he is responsible for guiding his leader on the cobblestones.
While continuing to be a right-hand man to his leader, Brestois grabbed places one by one during the third week and managed to secure a good eleventh place on the evening of the final stage. He even entered the Tour’s top 10 a few weeks after the race ended after Nairo Quintana (sixth overall) was disqualified for using tramadol, a banned substance by the UCI.
Valentin Madouas was rewarded at the end of the season
After providing service to Gaudu throughout the Grande Boucle, he was rewarded with his training, which landed him the role of leader in the Tour du Limousin. After a great week, he left with 4th overall and the best climber jersey.
But at the Tour of Luxembourg, Valentin Madouas will shine on all stages. The winner from day one, he then moved up to eleventh, ninth, and then tenth before winning the final stage to finish third overall. This good form at the end of the season would earn him selection for World Wollongong.
Whole year calls for others
Valentin Maduas has proven for months that he has two essential qualities: consistency and versatility. Able to shine on the Grand Tour, in the Classics and in one-week races, he has also never faced downtime.
At 26 years old, this season seems to him not just a fluke, but a confirmation of his potential. No doubt our Bretons will please us for several more years and may be given more responsibilities next year.