The new leader of the FDJ team, Pierrick Fédrigo, is currently preparing for next season at a team training camp in Moussy-le-Vieux, near Paris. The former Bouygues Telecom rider, who has netted three Tour de France stage victories and a French national road race title during his career, is fitting in well and already taking up a leadership role.
"In races, I like to make the others suffer, but in order to do that, you first have to make yourself suffer, too," said Fédrigo, who is already making a good impression on team manager Marc Madiot.
"I'm getting to know him as a person, and I like what I see," Madiot told L'Equipe. "He takes the initiative, is integrating well in the team and is not afraid to speak out. He can be the new natural leader of our team."
Even though FDJ will have to operate as a Professional Continental team next year Fédrigo still hopes to compete and succeed at the highest level in 2011.
"After the GP de Béssèges, I want to work with [team trainer] Frédéric Grappe in order to become competitive for Paris-Nice, a race in which I've never done well in," the 32-year-old said.
Grappe, who has been with FDJ for ten years, was surprised to find out that a high-profile rider such as Fédrigo did not follow proper training schedules - something he'd like to change.
"He doesn't write down his kilometres nor his training hours. When he makes a performance, he doesn't know how he was able to do it. When he starts a race, he doesn't know if he's good or not. It is only 40 kilometres before the finish, when he checks out the faces of his rivals, that he understands whether he can win. He measures his form by comparison to others, he doesn't know himself. If he agrees, I would like to give him a little bit of methodology," Grappe said.