Aligned with the next Tour de France which will start from Copenhagen on July 1st, Romain Bardet evokes for the magazine Pédale! his desires for Giro, which partly pushed him to leave AG2R. The Auvergnat also speaks frankly about his relationship with money, evoking Kylian Mbappé.
“I have respect for Mbappé, he thinks well, but I wonder what he does with what he wins.” If he absolutely does not complain about his situation as a cyclist, Romain Bardet wonders about the fortune of the PSG striker. While being transparent about his salary in the latest issue of Pedal! : “A million and a half taxed at 45% so around 50,000 per month, launches the dolphin of Chris Froome on the Tour de France 2016. It’s a lot of money but I know how much I need to be happy. I have a Porsche in my garage, a nice house worth a million euros. No need for a second big car or a second house. I have everything I need.”
If the climber from Brioude is fulfilled in his private life, he lacked a little something that money could not bring him and that AG2R, his former team, could not grant him: the Giro.
“In France, the sponsors only see through the Tour de France, so how do you explain to them that the guy you pay the most in the team, he needs a change and he dreams of the Giro? This is not the mentality of the team, says Bardet. I would certainly have succeeded in convincing them, but the energy that it would have required me to negotiate… Not to mention the pressure that I would have had, I would not have had an interest in failing myself. But it was planned for 2020. And then there was the Covid. At AG2R, we were paid as if nothing had happened, to stay at home. So when your manager says: ‘Romain, it would be good for you to do the Tour this year’, I understand and I accept.
The desire to discover the Giro partly pushed him to leave AG2R
Deprived of the Giro and forced to retire from the Tour de France in 2020, Romain Bardet (31) was coming to the end of his contract with Vincent Lavenu’s training and had to make an important choice for the rest of his career: “I I had two equivalent offers, including AG2R. I wonder. (…) It would have been easier for me to stay there, to continue my little career, with a nice salary. I wanted to put myself in danger, feel something else.”
Eager to see something else both sportingly and structurally, Bardet ends up joining the Dutch formation DSM at the dawn of the 2021 season. “I am full of gratitude for AG2R but it is also good to kicking your ass. At DSM, the Giro or the Tour is fun, and when it comes to the media, there’s no obligation. They tell me: ‘We’re not a com agency’, we don’t care'”, specifies the runner.
Another asset that played in favor of the team formerly known as Sunweb: professionalism pushed to its climax. “Among the French teams, the four or five strongest guys know their program for the year. from November and must stick to it. Everything is set until October 31, “analyzes Bardet.
Despite a program set like clockwork, Romain Bardet had to improvise after his retirement from the Giro when he was one of the potential winners in Verona. He will finally be at the start of the Tour de France on July 1 with stage victory in mind and unclear about his form.