The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro may be well over a year away but the French national team are ensuring that they will be well prepared. National coach Bernard Bourreau has called together 12 of the country's riders for a training camp in December, with the 2016 Olympics in the forefront of his mind.
"This is to maintain and improve the teamwork and group cohesion," said Bourreau.
France has never won gold in the men’s events since the professionals were allowed to compete in 1996. They last won gold in the men's road race with José Beyaert in 1948. It was significantly longer ago for the time trial with 1924 winner Armand Blanchonnet the only French victor in the event.
Bourreau is looking to focus on the future of French cycling and has invited a youthful goup of riders that he refers to as the 'new generation'. The list includes Tour de France podium finisher Thibaut Pinot, rising star Warren Barguil, French national champion Arnaud Démare and Giro d'Italia points classification winner Nacer Bouhanni. Pinot’s white jersey rival at this year's Tour, Romain Bardet is not on the list of riders invited to the camp.
Also invited are Julian Alaphilippe, Jérôme Coppel, Armindo Fonseca, Cyril Gautier, Blel Kadri, Julien Simon, Arthur Vichot and Alexis Vuillermoz.
According to the French federation, the programme will include technical meetings, fitness work, team sports and excursions. The training camp will take place between December 1-5 in Alpine province of Maurienne.