Warren Barguil has been tipped by his Team Sunweb colleagues as a future Tour de France general classification contender.
The Frenchman won two stages and the mountains classification in the 2017 race and also finished in the top-10, his most successful return from a Grand Tour.
His previous best GC result in a three-week stage race was eighth in the 2014 Vuelta a España.
Riders across the peloton have been impressed by the 25-year-old’s form and attacking tendencies, and his team-mate Mike Teunissen believes that targeting the maillot jaune is the next step.
“He has tried before and it didn’t work out so this year he chose to go for stage hunting and attacking,” Teunissen said. “But if you look at where he has been in the GC against the biggest climbers, for sure it is possible he can win.
“He has only been training and racing for a few months after a tough crash so it is really possible.
“What does he need to do? Not much. He is already not far away. If he can beat Froome now, for sure there isn’t too much in this.
“He would need not too much time trial kilometres, and not many summit finishes. This Tour was one for him, but if he so strong it doesn’t matter [what the route is]. I’m really curious about how he will do in the next few years.”
Barguil was also awarded the most combative rider award for the whole Tour, and his teammate Nikias Arndt said that his victory on stage 18, atop the Col d’Izoard, confirmed his status as one of the stars of the race.
“I think he has been really impressive and one of the best riders of this Tour,” Arndt said. “How he won a stage like the Izoard and that is really impressive and just shows how strong he is.
“His goal this year was for him to win a stage and he has succeeded with that. He will set a new goal after the Tour and we have to see what that is.”
Barguil’s style of racing, and panache, is what has endeared him to spectators, Teunissen believed. “He has been so impressive that at kilometre zero I can say bye to him! I haven’t seen him in the race!
“He has won in breakaways and by beating all the major contenders. That is really impressive I think.
“He brings entertainment, he fights for it, he attacks and he was the strongest of everyone in the big mountain stage. He is also French so everyone will agree he is one of the biggest stars of the Tour.”