Every 14 July, it is said that the riders in the squad managed by Marc Madiot, a charismatic figure of cycling, used to psych up by listening to La Marseillaise and Le chant des partisans in their team bus. The handful of foreigners (Bradley McGee, Baden Cooke, Philippe Gilbert) who have flourished in the team sponsored by the French national lottery can bear witness to the fact that Groupama–FDJ, formerly known as La Française des Jeux, fdjeux.com, FDJ-BigMat and FDJ.fr, always flies the colours of the Tour de France's home nation.
The riders with the four-leaf clovers have raced in the Tour with varying degrees of success. Apart from Christophe Le Mével (10th in 2009) and Sandy Casar (11th in 2009 and 13th 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 in Porrentruy and the first rider under 23 years old to finish in the final top 10 since 1947! This heralded his accession to the podium, finishing third in the 2014 Tour de France as well as best young rider, giving French cycling hopes for its first triumph since Bernard Hinault in 1985. His victory on the Alpe d'Huez in 2015 was another sign of renewed French cycling pride. He also had a stint in the polka-dot jersey in 2016 before sickness forced him to withdraw. He has had a bittersweet relationship with the Giro, from finishing fourth in 2017 to having to withdraw in the penultimate stage of the 2018 Giro —when he was sitting third overall. A salutary victory in Il Lombardia has helped him to focus on the Tour de France again.
From the very beginning 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 (2003), where the Australian duo of McGee and Cooke took the prologue and the green jersey classification, respectively. Arnaud Démare's sprint victory in Vittel in 2017 while wearing the tricoloured jersey was a powerful symbol, especially after he followed it up with another triumph in Pau in 2018 and a Giro stage win in Modena earlier this season. Groupama–FDJ continues to nurture French talent, with Valentin Madouas, 13th in the 2019 Giro, and another Breton, 22-year-old Tour de Romandie stage winner David Gaudu, honing their skills in the shadow of Thibaut Pinot.
Stage wins: 12
Secondary classification wins: 3
Yellow jerseys: 3
22: participations in the Tour de France (continuously since 1997).
22 July 1997: first emotions, first stage win, courtesy of Christophe Mengin.
8 July 2003 : three different leader jerseys worn in the same stage (McGee in yellow, Cooke in white and Mengin in polka dots), with Cooke poised to take the final points classification
26 July 2014: after the time trial between Bergerac and Périgueux, for the first time, FDJ climb onto the final podium of the Tour de France with Thibaut Pinot, in third place and wearing the white jersey.
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