La Française des Jeux has announced that it will continue to sponsor a team until the end of 2014. The national lottery-backed squad has been a continuous presence in the peloton since its formation in 1997, and the renewal of their support is a major boost to French cycling.
According to Velo-Club.net, the budget will be "at least equivalent" to the approximately €7 million assigned to the team for 2010, and there is a possibility for a major secondary sponsor to come on board for the first time in the squad's history. A spokesman for FDJ said, "We are studying the possibility of another partner but we could also do without."
Team manager Marc Madiot is satisfied with today's announcement, affirming that in either scenario, "The budget will be whatever is necessary to compete in the ProTour".
With this announcement of a four-year extension arriving ahead of the Tour de France, Madiot is now free to offer lengthy deals to riders already at the team. L'Équipe reported that FDJ riders Christophe Le Mével, Jérémy Roy and Yauheni Hutarovich had each attracted attention from other teams in recent weeks.