25 Riders to Watch in 2014 – Arnaud Demare

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Arnaud Demare

The 22 year old Frenchman had a remarkable season.

He won 3 stages and the overall in 4 days of Dunkirk, won stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse, won stage 2 of the Eneco Tour, won GP d’Isbergues, was 2nd in Paris-Bourges and 3rd in Paris-Tours.

He is billed as a sprinter but is developing into a classics rider. He still has a fairly good sprint, but usually needs a good lead-out to ensure victory. He looks unstoppable when paired with Geoffery Soupe, and you should pay attention when they ride together.

He has improved his climbing ability and is capable of a fierce uphill sprint. He easily beat Gilbert in the Eneco Tour, in a steep finish.

Although he only finished 3rd in Paris-Tours, he impressed. We had big attacks on the final 2 climbs, but he was able to stay with the small group of lead riders and this bodes well for the future.

2014 will be an interesting year for him. He has a chance to focus on 1-day races and is capable of winning a semi-classic, but will he ride his first grand tour?

Whatever FDJ decide to do with him, I expect a lot of success in 2014.

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