Two brothers for a Giro in full light: Aurélien and Valentin Paret-Peintre burst the screen in the Tour of Italy where the two Savoyards perpetuate with panache the tradition of siblings in cycling.
Seeing the two brothers escape together with the white jersey of the AG2R-Citroën team during the 16th stage on Tuesday will remain as one of the striking images of this 106th edition.
“We shared something unique. It was the first time we found ourselves together in a breakaway. It was incredible”, reports Valentin, the 22-year-old youngest, in an interview with the AFP, twenty-four hours after their beautiful escape which finally got stuck on the slopes of Monte Bondone.
“There was no result at the end, but it’s a day that will remain. In the peloton we were congratulated: the Paret-Peintre brothers dictated the race”, savors Aurélien, the eldest of five years.
It was not the first time that the two Paret-Peintre distinguished themselves on this Giro. Valentin, hyper active for his first Grand Tour, slipped into other breakaways to sign several places of honor (5th, 13th… 31st overall).
“At the start, I especially wanted to show the team that they were right to trust me. Maybe make a place in the Top 20 of a stage. The contract is largely fulfilled”, underlines the frail climber.
“We are benefitting”
Aurélien (16th overall) won a stage, the fourth towards Lago Laceno, for another strong family moment: Valentin was still engaged in the final ascent when he discovered on the car screen of his sporting director the live footage of his brother raising his arms over the line higher, before exploding with joy.
The Pélissier dynasty, Jean and Louison Bobet, Andy and Frank Schleck… seeing brothers climb mountain passes together has marked the history of cycling.
“We don’t try to compare ourselves to other siblings, we both go our own way. But we would never have imagined that. So we take advantage,” says Aurélien.
The two Paret-Peintres followed twin trajectories. Falling into the pot as children in a family of cyclists with their sister Maeva, they were first trained by their father, president of the VC of Annemasse, before entering the training center in Chambéry and taking their first steps. as a pro in the AG2R-Citroën team.
“We even practically won the same races among young people”, underlines Aurélien, winner of the Junior Alpine Classic in 2013, six years before his brother.
Together on the Tour de France?
For their second season together with the pros, the eldest says he is amazed by the performances of his little brother: “I did not see him at this level so early”.
What quickly consider a Tour de France together?
“This year it’s premature but it becomes possible in a year or two”, calculates the eldest, 15th in the Grande Boucle in 2021 and who should be there this summer.
“I prefer to take my time and go when I’m ready. I’m only 22, I’m in no hurry,” agrees the youngest.
In the meantime, the two taste the pleasure of running together, they who end up rubbing shoulders very little. “We have a good time, we talk. We have a great bond but when we are in Chambéry during the week, we see each other very little. I left home when I was 18 and he was 13. And I always the impression that he is 13 years old”, says Aurélien with a big laugh.
“We work like that,” confirms Valentin. He gave me a lot of advice when I was young but now he lets me find out a bit and make mistakes on my own. But we both know that if we need each other, he’ll be there.”