GROUPAMA - FDJ
The riders managed by Marc Madiot, a charismatic figure of cycling, used to psych up every 14 July by listening to La Marseillaise and Le chant des partisans on their team bus. The handful of foreigners who have flourished in the team sponsored by the French national lottery (including Bradley McGee, Baden Cooke, Philippe Gilbert and now Stefan Küng) can bear witness to the fact that Groupama–FDJ, formerly known as La Française des Jeux, fdjeux.com, FDJ-BigMat and FDJ.fr before becoming Groupama–FDJ in 2018, is steeped in the blue, white and red colours of the Tour de France's home nation.
Already in its first season in 1997, in the wake of Frédéric Guesdon's triumph in Paris–Roubaix, the team took a stage win in the Grande Boucle, courtesy of Christophe Mengin in Fribourg (Switzerland). It also made its mark on the centennial Tour in 2003, in which the Australian duo of McGee and Cooke took the prologue and the green jersey, respectively. Arnaud Démare's sprint victory in Vittel in 2017 while clad in the tricoloured jersey sent a powerful message, which reverberated even further with his triumph the following year in Pau, where Pierrick Fédrigo had also taken the spoils in 2012.
The riders with the four-leaf clovers have raced in the Tour with varying degrees of success. Apart from Christophe Le Mével (tenth in 2009) and Sandy Casar (eleventh in 2009 and thirteenth in 2008), they have rarely come close to the top of the general classification, preferring to focus on stage hunting until the emergence in the 2012 Tour of Thibaut Pinot, winner of the stage to Porrentruy and the first rider under 23 years old to finish in the top 10 since 1947! Shortly afterwards, he stood on the podium, finishing third overall as the best young rider of the 2014 Tour de France and stoking hopes for the first French triumph since Bernard Hinault's fifth and last win in 1985.
His victory on the Alpe d'Huez in 2015 was another sign of renewed French cycling pride. He also wore the polka-dot jersey for a few days in 2016 before an illness forced him to abandon the race. His experiences in the Giro have been bittersweet, from fourth place in 2017 to having to withdraw in the penultimate stage of the 2018 Giro while sitting third overall. A salutary victory in Il Lombardia helped him to focus back on the Tour de France. The 2019 edition was a roller-coaster of emotions for the French rider, who got caught at the wrong end of a split on the road to Albi, bounced back to win the queen stage on the Tourmalet and rode himself back into contention for the yellow jersey before dramatically pulling out in the Alps. 2020 was even worse: a crash with 3 km to go in the opening stage in Nice ruined his Tour de France and left him with a badly injured back that crippled him in his next three Grand Tours.
Marc Madiot was over the moon to put three French riders in the top 15 in 2022, with David Gaudu in fourth place, Valentin Madouas in tenth and Thibaut Pinot in fourteenth. Madouas, second in Foix, came closer to grabbing a stage win for Groupama–FDJ than Pinot, fourth in Châtel-Les Portes du Soleil and Mende. As the whiz kids Romain Grégoire and Lenny Martinez continue to blossom into their full potential, France is pinning its hopes of a podium finish on David Gaudu.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories13
- Yellows Jerseys3
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 0
Podium finishes: 1
- 2014: Thibaut Pinot, third
Stage wins: 13
- 1997: Christophe Mengin in Fribourg
- 2002: Bradley McGee in Avranches
- 2003: Bradley McGee in Paris (prologue) and Baden Cooke in Sedan
- 2007: Sandy Casar in Angoulême
- 2009: Sandy Casar in Bourg-Saint-Maurice
- 2010: Sandy Casar in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
- 2012: Thibaut Pinot in Porrentruy and Pierrick Fédrigo in Pau
- 2015: Thibaut Pinot on the Alpe d'Huez
- 2017: Arnaud Démare in Vittel
- 2018: Arnaud Démare in Pau
- 2019: Thibaut Pinot on the Tourmalet
Secondary classification wins: 3
- 2003: Baden Cooke (points classification)
- 2011: Jérémy Roy (most combative rider)
- 2014: Thibaut Pinot (best young rider)
Yellow jerseys: 3
- 2003: Bradley McGee, three days in 2003
STARTS: 26 (unbroken streak since 1997)
9: Thibaut Pinot's Tour de France starts, with three stage wins, a third place finish and a best young rider's title under his belt.
22 July 1997: the first emotions and the first stage win, courtesy of Christophe Mengin.
8 July 2003: three distinctive jerseys worn in the same stage (McGee in yellow, Cooke in white and Mengin in polka dots), foreshadowing Cooke's victory in the final points classification.
26 July 2014: after the time trial between Bergerac and Périgueux, FDJ climb onto the final podium of the Tour de France for the first time with Thibaut Pinot in third place and wearing the white jersey.
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