French WorldTour team FDJ have outlined its season objectives for 2017, confirming Thibaut Pinot will race the Giro d'Italia with Arnaud Demare leading the line at the Tour de France and climbing domestique Sebastien Reichenbach given the opportunity for GC at the Vuelta a Espana.
The defence of Demare's Milan-San Remo title, and the French road race and time trial titles of Arthur Vichot and Pinot, respectively, in Saint-Omer are further goals outlined by FDJ who are currently in the middle of its training camp in Calpe, Spain.
Pinot has previously expressed his desire to the race the Giro d'Italia for the first time in his career and will be targeting the general classification.
"I want to get back into the dynamics of a good general classification on a three-week race," Pinot recently told French newspaper Liberation. "I have had two failures in the Tour de France from this point of view - or a failure and a half, considering my victory at the Alpe d'Huez.
"Frankly, it would be great to break the routine, to test a climb like the Stelvio which I still have never done."
Pinot was tenth on his Tour de France debut in 2012, winning a stirling stage into Porrentruy, but was forced to abandon the 2013 edition of the race. He bounced back with third place overall in 2014, only to be struck down by illness on 2015, finishing 16th, and again this year when he abandoned on stage 13 which was his final race of the 2016 season.
FDJ also confirmed that Pinot will race the Tour de France where he will target stage wins and the climber's polka dot jersey.
Before the grand tours commence, FDJ will be focused on the spring classics with the defence of Demare's Milan-San Remo its highest priority. With 2017 the 20th anniversary of director sportif Frédéric Guesdon's Paris-Roubaix victory, the team will also be placing emphasis on the 'hell of the north' an aiming for a strong showing in the cobbled classics.
Demare, who will return to the Tour after racing the Giro in 2016, will lead the team in the classics with Gent-Wevelgem another target race for the 25-year-old.
Finally, the team will also be aiming for wins across the season at the Coupe de France races and will confirm which new WorldTour races it will take part in. In team manager Marc Madiot's recent Cyclingnews blog, he confirmed FDJ won't be riding the new Chinese WorldTour race.
FDJ will start its season at the Tour Down Under in Australia next month but are unlikely to remain down under to race the newly promoted WorldTour event, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, which is missing from its race calendar.
For the 2017 season, FDJ have signed Jacopo Guarnieri (Katusha), Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin), Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Léo Vincent (Neo), David Gaudu (Neo) and Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida). Departing riders include Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale), Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo - Vital Concept), Sébastien Chavanel (Retires), Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Team Pro Immo), Yoann Offredo (Wanty - Groupe Gobert), Murilo Fischer (Retires).
Media type: Twitter
Media src: https://twitter.com/ThibautPinot/status/808255821729689600
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