FDJ sign Duchesne

Canadian's departure from Direct Energie after four seasons was not entirely amicable

After four seasons with Direct Energie, Antoine Duchesne will ride for FDJ next year.

The French WorldTour outfit announced the signing of the 26-year-old Canadian via Twitter on Tuesday. According to La Presse, Duchesne's departure from Direct Energie was not entirely amicable.

The Canadian newspaper reported that Duchesne hired Belgian agents to assess possible destinations for the future last fall, angering Direct Energie manager Jean-René Bernaudeau. According to La Presse, Bernaudeau told Duchesne he did not want him back for 2018.

This season has not been an easy one for Duchesne, who has battled illness at various points throughout the year, but he will land on his feet at the WorldTour level, returning to the top division with FDJ after a three-year stint in the Pro Continental ranks. Duchesne signed with Europcar in 2014 when it was a WorldTour team, then stuck with the squad as it dropped to the second division and morphed into Direct Energie.

Having spent the last few years as a contributor in the Classics, Duchesne is expected to continue to focus on the spring races with FDJ and the team's featured one-day leader, Arnaud Démare.

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