At 24 years old, this youg man from Switzerland, has the cycling world in his hands. Amazing to think he struggled to find a team in 2012! Thank goodness the brilliant IAM Cycling saved him.
2013 was his first season in the World Tour and boy, didn’t he do well.
He finished in the top 30 of both Stade Bianche and Roma Maxima(with the front group), was 2nd in the Tour de Berne, won Trofeo Matteotti, finished 4th in the Tour de l’Ain, 8th in the tour of Britain and was 12th in Milano-Torino. Here is an interview I did with Sébastien:-
What was your best race of the season?
For me the best race of the season was the Trofeo Matteotti victory in front of my teammate Johann Tschopp.
You seem to really like Trofeo Matteotti, as you were 13th in 2011 and won this year. This year you won by breaking away with Johann Tschopp and riding together for a long time. Was this a pre-race plan?
We had not established a precise tactic to both escape. The DS orders were simply to put an IAM Cycling rider in the break that day. When a large group went away during the first lap, we were both there. Being two riders of the same team, we worked for each other and it put us in a perfect position to win the race.
How did you decide who took the win?
We waited until the last lap to make a decision. When we reached the flame rouge, we were sure not to be caught and I asked Johann, “who’s going to win?” he simply answered “it should be you”.
Your performances in the Tour de l’Ain were outstanding, finishing 5th and 4th in the last 2 stages. Stage 5 featured the climb of the Col de Grand Colombier, how did you find this iconic climb?
The Grand Colombier is very similar to the long climbs with severe percentages that I often train on at home in Valais, Switzerland. I really appreciate these kinds of efforts and the Grand Colombier suits me perfectly for those reasons.
You then did the Tour of Britain, where you finished 8th and helped Martin Elmiger to an excellent 2nd place. You did a great job on the climb up Caerphilly Mountain and the hill climb to end stage 6. How did you find the race, especially as you were up against Wiggins, Martin and Quintana?
I really enjoyed discovering the Tour of Britain and the beautiful landscapes of this edition. The team went there in perfect shape and with a very strong motivation. There was something for everyone(sprints, TT, climbs), so I worked hard every day. It was also very good to be able to measure myself with riders of a higher standing. It helps me to progress even though I think Wiggins, Martin and Quintana were not as fresh as I was. My feeling is that they couldn’t give their best.
If wildcard selections go your way, you might have the chance to ride you first Grand Tour in 2014. Would you prefer the Giro or Tour?
I sincerely hope that we will receive at least one invitation, we deserve it! But if we have two wildcards, and if I had to choose, I would ask for the one that has always been my dream as a young cyclist. This dream race would be the Giro d’Italia, also because it has more climbs. I also believe that the media and public pressure is maybe a little less than the Tour, which would not be bad for my first major race.
How excited are you about riding with Sylvain Chavanel in 2014?
Very excited! I look forward to riding with Sylvain. He is a great rider with a lot of experience and I hope to learn from his tips and advice.
What races will you be looking to do well in 2014?
For now, I still don’t know my complete program. However, I would like to be at my peak for the Tour de Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine.
What are your goals for 2014?
I would like to continue to progress and to confirm the results recorded during my first season in the pro peloton. Then, if possible, participate in a Grand Tour.