By Jean-François Quenet in Varese, Italy
Wesley Sulzberger was disappointed at the end of the GP Isbergues when the photo finish indicated that Crédit Agricole's William Bonnet had beaten him by a slim margin for the win, but he was soon delighted as Française des Jeux's boss Marc Madiot called him and announced that he had secured a neo-pro contract for the next two years.
"I gave my best and I'm very happy to have a future with FDJ now," said the Tasmanian before heading towards Varese for the world championships. He came second to Peter Velits at last year's U23 world road race championship in Stuttgart and he will ride the road race on Friday with no worries.
In July, the member of Continental team Southaustralia.com wondered why no professional team was interested in him but Française des Jeux offered him to give a try as a stagiaire. After his first race in August, which was Paris-Correze, some riders from FDJ advised Madiot that Sulzberger should be given a contract. The final words came from Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Tours winner Frederic Guesdon who mentioned the 21-year-old Australian as a top rider for the future.
"I'm very happy to have a new Australian rider on board," Madiot declared. The FDJ manager has kept found memories of his contingent from Down Under when Bradley McGee, Baden Cooke, Matt Wilson and Mark Renshaw wore the colours of the four leaves clovers. Sulzberger now is his newest prospect.