Warren Barguil is back climbing with the world’s best after recovering from injuries sustained when a car struck him and his Giant-Alpecin team-mates during a training ride in January.
Barguil sustained a broken wrist in the horrific incident in Calpe, Spain, when a car ploughed into a group of Giant-Alpecin riders. Five other riders were also injured, with John Degenkolb and Chad Haga suffering serious injuries.
While the team is still recovering as a whole from the incident, 24-year-old Frenchman Barguil looks to have bounced back as he finished third on tough stage four of the Tour of the Basque Country on Thursday behind Samuel Sanchez (BMC) and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida).
Barguil finished at the head of a group of contenders including Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and new race leader Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo).
“I am a very satisfied with my result today,” Barguil said after the stage. “I managed to control my effort and I was waiting for the climb with two kilometres to the finish. However, I started from too far back and I didn’t follow the wheel of Sanchez.
“I did a sprint of 300 metres and I just gave everything I had. In the end, Rui Costa passed me on the line as I finished third.”
Watch: A day in the life of Giant-Alpecin
Not only does Barguil feel that he’s recovering well from January’s incident, but he also feels that he’s close to the form he was in during the 2014 season, when he finished eighth overall in the Vuelta a España.
“I am quite satisfied with my level at the moment, I am getting closer to my level I had in 2014 and that’s important for me because I had a difficult year last year.”
Barguil now sits in 14th place overall in the Tour of the Basque Country with two stages remaining: today’s ‘queen’ mountain stage, with a summit finish, and Saturday’s final and decisive individual time trial.