Every 14 July, it is said that the riders in the squad managed by Marc Madiot 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 FDJ-BigMat, formerly known as La Française des Jeux, fdjeux.com and FDJ, always flies the colours of the Tour de France’s home country.
The riders with the four-leaf clovers have raced in the Tour with varying degrees of success. Apart from Christophe Le Mével (9th in 2009) and Sandy Casar (10th 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's fifth win 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. His fourth place in the 2017 Giro rebuilt his confidence for Grand Tours, but after having to withdraw in the penultimate stage of the 2018 Giro —which he had started in third place overall— he decided to enter the Tour de France as well.
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 Tour de France, 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, respectively. Arnaud Démare's sprint victory in Vittel in 2017 while wearing the tricoloured jersey was a powerful symbol. Charismatic manager Marc Madiot, a household name in French cycling, persuaded insurer Groupama to make the jump from sailing to cycling and write a new chapter in the epic of the gambling giant.
Stage wins: 11
Secondary classification wins: 3
Yellow jerseys: 3
21: 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 overall and wearing the best young rider's white jersey.
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