Winning a stage in Vuelta a Burgos was only the beginning for Bastien Tronchon. Raynaud's Syndrome and being a student doesn’t stop him from starting the season with big ambitions.
Hi Bastien, when and why did you start cycling?
"As a kid I had two passions: cycling and dancing. When I was 9 years old, a friend invited me to join his cycling team. On that day I decided to go 100% for cycling."
As you like dancing, are you the one who dances in the team bus to set the mood?
"Yes, I’m surely one of them. I think it’s good for the motivation of the whole team and to destress."
On 1 August you became a trainee for AG2R Citroën Team, after spending two years in their U23 squad. Four days later you won a stage in Vuelta a Burgos. You were the only one from the break who could follow Pavel Sivakov. That must have been a dream, after dealing with a broken collarbone in May.
"That day was probably the most important day of my life. I was in Burgos to help the team but during stage 3 I took the opportunity to get into the break. I never really thought about winning before the final 2 kilometers, because I was really focused on my effort. It was crazy to finish things off. Truly the best performance in my early career."
In September you signed a pro contract with AG2R Citroën Team. Were there other teams interested?
"Yes, some big teams were interested too but AG2R Citroën Team is family to me so I didn't hesitate. Money didn’t play a role, I’m young and I still have to prove myself. For me it’s important to have a team where I feel comfortable and to have proper guidance. That combination led me to AG2R Citroën Team."
For me it’s important to have a team where I feel comfortable and to have proper guidance. That combination led me to AG2R.
You seem to be a classic puncher. What are your strengths as a cyclist and which skills do you want to improve?
"That’s right, I’m a good puncher but I’m a jack of all trades as I really like stage races too. For the next few years I want to improve my time trial skills. If I want to ride a good general classification in the future and compete with the best, my time trials need to be better."
Do you accept a role as a domestique this season or are you aiming for more?
"As I am one of the youngsters in the team it's quite obvious I take my role as a domestique. Once I'm confident and the team trusts me, I'll take my chance and hope to win a race."
Which races are already on your 2023 program?
"My season is cut into two big parts. The first part consists of one day races in Belgium, both Flemish and Ardennes. For the second part I’ll ride more stage races, like Tour de Suisse, Tour de Pologne and Tour of Luxembourg."
If there’s one race you want to win in your career, which one would it be?
"I would love to win Strade Bianche. Or a stage in Tour de France, somewhere in the Savoie, my home region."
You’re still studying. Which education?
"I study sciences and technologies of physical activities and sport (STAPS) at the University of Savoy Mont Blanc. I’m in my last year so it’s obviously my goal to graduate in 2023."
Does this affect your cycling season?
"It was sometimes difficult to combine my studies and cycling, but now I’m well supported and I have a program suitable for top athletes."
You're dealing with Raynaud's Syndrome. What’s that?
"It’s a syndrome that causes decreased blood flow to the fingers and toes. They tingle and glow, and feel cold and numb."
Do you suffer from that during races, for example when it’s cold and rainy?
"In winter it’s sometimes very hard but now I’m very well equipped by my team. In races I wear a lot of accessories for my hands and feet so it doesn’t prevent me from pressing the pedals."
Few weeks ago during the team camp you tweeted “2 semaines sans maman c’est dur”.
"Haha, don’t take my Twitter timeline too seriously, but there’s always truth in it. I love my family and I have a very good relationship with my mother as I’m the youngest child in the family. I’ve always been entitled to a special treatment."
If you could wish for one thing for the new year, what would it be?
"Without a doubt: Good health!"