French lottery one of the oldest sponsors in pro peloton
Française des Jeux has extended its sponsorship of the French World Tour team until the end of 2016. "I am very happy with this decision," team manager Marc Madiot said. "It enables us to create a future for this new, young generation."
Française started sponsoring the team in 1997 which makes 2016 the 20th year of sponsorship. Big names like Philippe Gilbert, Chris Horner, Mark Renshaw, Bradley Wiggins and 2003 Tour de France green jersey winner Baden Cooke were all part of the team. One of the biggest victories in the team's history came in 1997, its first year of existence, when Frédéric Guesdon won Paris-Roubaix.
The team can now boast a very promising generation of French riders who mostly come from the CC Etupes amateur team. FDJ.fr's best result in the Tour de France was last year with a 10th place in the overall classification for Thibaut Pinot and two stage wins: one by Pinot and the other by Pierrick Fedrigo.
In 2013, the young team didn't fare well in the Tour de France but were very successful with stage wins in the Vuelta by Kenny Elissonde and Alexandre Geniez and a seventh place in the overall for Pinot.
The team totaled a number of 33 wins this season, its most successful season to day. Eleven of the 33 victories were by sprinter Nacer Bouhanni and nine by Arnaud Démare. Arthur Vichot became French champion, taking the jersey from his teammate Bouhanni and Francis Mourey is France's elite cyclo-cross champion.
Next season the team consists of 29 riders. Madiot keeps 26 riders of his 2013 squad and adds two former junior world champions to the line up: Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier, the 2011 Copenhagen junior road race world champion and Olivier le Gac who took the world title in 2010. Veteran Sébastien Chavanel, who comes over from Europcar, completes the team.
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