Mickaël Leveau (Go Sport Roubaix Lille Métropole): “David beat Goliath well, didn’t he?”

The 66th edition of the 4 Days of Dunkirk will be held from 3 to 8 May 2022 during the start of the Giro d’Italia on 6 May. Who will succeed Mike Teunissen (Jumbo Visma), the last winner in 2019, at the end of the 6 stages?

Several WorldTours will be to start such as Team Cofidis, Groupama FDJ, Lotto Soudal, AG2R Citroën, Intermarché Wanty Gobert, team DSM as well as ProTours teams like Arkea Samsic, TotalEnergies among others and accounts teams like Team U Nantes Atlantique or still the “local” of the event with Team Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole, a 100% “come by” team that smells good of this cycling, the one we learn to read in the back of the truck, and which gives balm to the heart of those who love “Art” .

It’s a bit like our world championship for us northern riders, in front of our audience

DS from the Nordiste team, Mickaël Leveau, told us what he expects on this 66th edition of the 4 days of Dunkirk:

Mickael Leveau:“It is true that it is important for us to be there and above all to give everything we can to shine there. It’s a bit like our world championship for us northern riders, in front of our audience, what’s more. It’s going to be tough and very hard, you have to be honest, but anything is possible even against “Goliath” teams.

the pursuit of points between big teams does not allow any gift to the continuing teams

Exactly, it’s been a long time since 3rd division teams like Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole won in front of “Goliaths” …

“Yes, but it’s also the new cycling and UCI points war between WorldTour teams and ProTeams. It changes the whole face of pro-racing from now on. From now on, there are some who will relegate to the 2nd division and some of this division want to reach the WorldTour level, but only the top 18 on the UCI rankings will be in the WorldTour. Lotto Soudal therefore plays its maintenance, Cofidis, Team DSM also while Arkea Samsic or TotalEnergies aim for promotion, it does not give much leeway, right?

So all UCI points, even on the French UCI 1.1 trophies, are fiercely controversial, the pursuit of points between big teams does not allow any gift to the continuous teams. We can not compete, we must be realistic. But we have the courage at home at Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole. We only have 11 runners and we need to know how to compose when there are injured or sick. It leaves us few people in the end. The ProTeam or WorldTour has a minimum of 28 riders and enough to replace the boys. They also have complete trains that serve the sprinters … We play in the same yard, but not with the same weapons. But you never know, nothing is impossible and especially in our northern countries and cycling suffers from impossible challenges.

if the wind is in the game, it can distort the weather forecast!

Exactly some of these 6 stages are conducive for sprinters over these 4 days

“Yes, Thomas Boudat can do something about the sprints, but we do not have the Lotto Soudal train … We’ll see! After guys like Jérémy (Leveau), Evaldas Siskevicius or the local Samuel Leroux are eager to show off and get a good performance. But as I told you, now we are in the hunt for UCI points, and then it is not a single train that picks them up in front, it will be 5 or 6, and it will be difficult to see an eruption go as far as’ to last. We’ll see if the wind is there, it can distort the weather forecast!

No team will wait for the Mont Cassel stage to start the match. It starts tomorrow and we, small teams, have to play a trick to meet these big armadas. I believe in it !”

It’s the new cycling now

From now on, several WorldTour and ProTeam have their reserve teams like Jumbo Visma, DSM, Lotto Soudal, Groupama FDJ running in UCI 2.2 competitions with young riders coming out of the junior world. Another difficulty for 3rd division teams like yours?

“I would not say it’s another difficulty. It’s a bit like in other professional sports like football now. We have to have the guy in 1st year juniors and he knows he will already be in reserve two years before. So at this point, it’s pretty hard for us to recruit young people.

From now on, the young people in the WorldTour at the age of 18, 19 will ride and switch between the reserve and world teams after the races. We’ve never seen that before. For example, look at the young Dutchman Casper van Uden, who has slammed 3 stages in Normandy this season with DSM Development, and who has done 4 in the GP de l’Escaut behind Alexander Kristoff and van Poppel, that’s not bad, is it? It’s the new cycling now ”

The DNs are no longer the pro-world’s anti-chamber, and that does not give a damn to the amateur world. It’s a shame we’re skipping one step in a man’s development and then a runner!

You, who were DS in the elite teams among French amateurs, do these reserve teams also change the world of amateur cycling?

“A little yes. Before the kid who came out of the juniors rode two seasons to learn the job among amateurs, the essence of basic cycling. It results in the DN teams struggling to recruit good young people and go in search of former pros or older guys.The DNs are no longer the pro-world anti-chamber and it does not give a damn to the amateur world.It’s a shame because we skip a step into a man’s but also a runner’s development. that, cycling has evolved and discovery now happens very early among pro teams. ”

Go Sport Roubaix Lille Metropolis

The young person (among amateurs) also learns to change in the back of the car, sometimes in the rain, to manage himself and respect volunteers, club staff and organizers

Some teams like Arkea Samsic do not have a reserve, but they finance and equip riders within the DNs

“Yes, that’s solution B. It’s quite Arkea Samsic’s concept. They take a youngster under their wings, team up and help him, but he stays one or two seasons as an amateur. It allows him to learn courier work without pressure, to refine his knowledge under the best conditions without stress. He also learns to change in the back of the car, sometimes in the rain, to fend for himself and respect the volunteers, the staff of a club and the organizers. It makes you a guy these relationships, the old way!

While the youngsters from the WorldTour reserve teams have all the benefits of WorldTour, the bus, the best mechanics, preparations, etc. They do not know the toughness of the amateurs. I’m not saying they are more temperamental, but they live in a mess compared to other kids and they sometimes don’t realize it.

I do not know what the best way to become a champion is, but time will tell. We are at the beginning and we have to wait and see how these young people will be at 27 or 28 years old in terms of sports psychology. Personally, I like Team Arkea Samsic’s way of doing things, it’s good for young people and for the survival of amateur clubs. ”

On this new generation of runners, Peter Sagan recently said she had less respect in the pro field

“I read that. But somewhere this is explained for the reasons I stated earlier. It’s the same link. Many guys come out of the junior world and do not already know the mentality of an elite peloton. We put them on WorldTour races with the same pressure as other older riders.They are like crazy young dogs and they ride like they did in juniors.They skipped that step of learning an elite division but how can you blame them? They did not learn that, they did not have time to learn. ”

Ok, we’re “David” versus “Goliath”, but David beat Goliath well, didn’t he?

Go Sport Roubaix Little Métropole, what are the goals for these 4 days of Dunkirk 2022?

“We go for the performance, just to be there, because otherwise they are too strong! (Laughs). No, I’m making fun. It’s not the kind of house we go there to do perf. We want to show up and try to put the ball in the bottom.We play at home and the boys are motivated, I can tell you.

Ok, we’re “David” versus “Goliath”, but David beat Goliath well, didn’t he? So why not us? See you at the end, and maybe we’ll put on this pink jersey, you never know (laughs) … I’m not talking about the weekend’s second pink jersey, but the one for the 4 days in Dunkirk, at home, at our World Cup “



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