The unexpected coronation of Léon Marchand, Tibault Pinot in form before the Tour, Max Verstappen as boss, the Toulouse stadium dethroned… Discover the tops and flops of the Figaro Sports department.
The advent of Marchand
Seven years that French swimming has been waiting for a successor to Florent Manaudou, double world champion in 2015. It has been done since the triumph of Léon Marchand on Saturday evening in Budapest. A prodigy in the 400m medley, the young Frenchman (20 years old) won the final by brushing against the world record. Second world performance of all time, his mark in 4:04.28 calls others. Marie Wattel meanwhile brought France a second medal on Sunday, with silver in the 100m butterfly.
Doubled French in Germany, Quartararo takes the lead
Fabio Quartararo on cloud nine. After celebrating his contract extension at Yamaha with a victory in Catalonia two weeks earlier, “El Diablo” did it again by flying over the German Grand Prix. Taking advantage of the absence of Kaiser from Sachsenring Marc Marquez (winner of the last eight editions) and the fall of poleman Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), the Niçois easily won the 10th round of the championship and took a 34-point lead in the championship. Second in the race, Johann Zarco grabbed a 14th career podium and climbed to 3rd place overall.
Pinot is smiling before the Tour
The smile and rage of Thibaut Pinot at the top of a victorious ascent are inseparable from his legend. Winner of the 7th stage of the Tour de Suisse alone, at the cost of a nice effort towards the summit in Malbun (Lichtenstein), the Franc-Comtois man proved that he still had something under his feet, less than two months after having found success in the Tour of the Alps. Excellent news less than two weeks before the start of the Tour de France, which he will find after his absence in 2021 and where he still remains an attraction.
Double blow for Verstappen
Victory for Max Verstappen. And a little more. The Dutch driver won the F1 Grand Prix of Canada on Sunday in Montreal. His sixth victory of the season, the 26th since the start of his career. A success that allows him to consolidate his position as leader in the drivers’ classification. And even to increase it, with now 46 points ahead of the Mexican Sergio Perez (retirement on the 9th lap) and 49 over the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (5th), penalized on Saturday and left at the back of the grid. Note the superb race of Carlos Sainz, second and who believed in this first success for a long time.
Aprasidze, unexpected hero
His name is Gela Aprasidze. Georgian by nationality, scrum half, and goalscorer by profession. Age 24 years old. Arrived at the MHR in 2017, he had little opportunity to express himself. 11 game sheets in three seasons; Before the upturn this year: 19 appearances, including eight as a starter, in all competitions. In the semi-final on Saturday night against UBB, he came on in the 67th minute. When the verdict of the match was still undecided. Montpellier led 13-10 and the Hérault staff then said to themselves that their phenomenal kick could undoubtedly make the difference. Strange because Gela Aprasidze had only managed three penalties this season? Except that the day before, during the training of the captain, the intrepid Georgian had tried, and succeeded, eight long distance attempts. In the last ten minutes of this bitter and indecisive semi-final, his teammates collected two penalties located more than 50 meters from the Bordeaux poles. At 70 and 79. Both succeeded in tipping the fate of the match in favor of Montpellier (19-10). And enthrone Aprasidze as an unexpected hero.
Time for revenge for Borel
July 25, 2021, Tokyo. Yannick Borel lost as soon as he entered the Olympic tournament against the Egyptian Mohamed Elsayed (18). And everything seems to be collapsing under the feet (he was diminished by a painful calf) of the French swordsman. Romain Cannone will go for the gold of surprise. He will rehash this disappointment for a long time (“Five years that fall in less than five minutes, the blow is fatal”). The desire to stop everything touches the 2018 world champion. Before going up the stairs. June 19, 2021. In Antalya, Romain Cannone stumbled on the first step, beaten 15-11 by Belgian Neisser Loyola in the first round. Like Alexandre Bardenet 3rd in the Monal challenge, in April in Paris. Yannick Borel won a 4th European title (2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) in epee. With to give sparkle to his revenge a sumptuous 15-1 victory in the final against the unexpected Dutchman Tristan Tulen. For Yannick Borel (33) Tokyo was suddenly very far away… Next step for one of the leaders of the French fencing team, the world championships, from July 15 to 20 in Cairo. To make an impression and continue to fill the French trophy room.
Zidane far from Paris, free field for Galtier
The next Parisian coach will be of French nationality and born in Marseille. Not the one you think… Zinedine Zidane has indeed said no to PSG. Not because of his love for OM or any bickering with Luis Campos, the capital club’s new football adviser, about the extent of his power at the Parc des Princes, but because of his interest in The french team. an info RMCour colleagues specifying that the former leader of the Blues “does not close the door at all to PSG” in the future. In the meantime, the big winner is Christophe Galtier, more than ever expected to succeed Mauricio Pochettino on the bench of the reigning French champions. According to various sources, the arrival of the Nice coach is no longer in doubt. It remains to find an agreement with the Aiglons, the person concerned being under contract.
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Dupont and Toulouse out of breath
“You don’t always have to wait for Antoine Dupont to cross the pitch…This admission by Stade Toulousain manager Ugo Mola, after the elimination of the defending champion by Castres Olympique in the semi-finals, clearly indicates that the best player in the world missed his match. Decisive in the play-offs against Stade Rochelais, the scrum-half of the XV of France hardly stood out against the neighboring Tarn, eclipsed by his counterpart, the Uruguayan Santiago Arata, author of a test and metronome in the distribution of the game. The trying, endless season ended up getting the better of the legs of a breathless Dupont. The holidays come at the right time for him to recharge the batteries, release the pressure before tackling a crucial and intense 2022-2023 season for the captain of a XV of France who aims to be crowned world champion on October 28 2023 at the Stade de France.
Gasly passed by
After five races without points, Pierre Gasly had put an end to this series in Baku with his fifth place. The French pilot Alpha Tauri then arrived with ambitions in Montreal. Ambitions quickly cooled after his 16th place in qualifying. A big disappointment like his anonymous race on Sunday, with a modest fourteenth place finish. Gasly is struggling this season with only one top 10 in the last seven races.
La Graët again taken over by Mbappé
Has Noël Le Graêt lost an opportunity to be silent? According to Kylian Mbappé’s assessment, the answer is ‘yes’. “He (Mbappé) found that the Federation had not defended him after his missed penalty (during the penalty shootout against Switzerland in the round of 16 of the last Euro, editor’s note) and criticism on the networks. He no longer wanted to play in the France team“, declared the president of the FFF in the columns of the JDD. To which Mbappé retorted: “Yes, finally I explained to him above all well that it was in relation to racism and NO to the penalty. But he considered that there had been no racism…” Vibe. The relationship between the striker of the Blues and the boss of the “3F” were already fresh. There is obviously no warming in sight, even if Mr. Le Graët wanted to calm things down on Sunday, a few hours after the tweet from “KM”, via RMC : “I agree with him. I understood everything and there is no problem with him. I have always had a deep attachment to his personality.”
The English XV derails against Barbarians with French sauce
A demonstration. Composed of many French players and the Top 14 and led by Fabien Galthié, the British Barbarians made short work of England on Sunday at Twickenham (55-21). A slap for the XV de la Rose, worrying before the summer tour in Australia. The absence of players from Leicester and Saracens, occupied by the final of the English championship on Saturday, or the last minute package of Alex Dombrandt (knee) do not explain everything. “We wanted to win this game against the Barbarians, don’t get me wrong, but it was also a warm-up game for Australia, so we tried to play differently.“, played down Eddie Jones. And the XV de la Rose coach added: “Most of the things we tried to do today didn’t work, as seen on the bulletin board, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work in the future.“. Coue method? “It’s a good reminder of how much work we still have to do before Australia“, he added. And that at least, that’s for sure.