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Gaudu and Démare lead Groupama-FDJ at the Tour de France

David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) at Itzulia Basque Country, where he finished fifth overall
David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) at Itzulia Basque Country, where he finished fifth overall (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Groupama-FDJ have announced their team for the Tour de France, with David Gaudu and Arnaud Démare leading the French squad in the general classification and sprints respectively.

24-year-old Gaudu will take the lead of the squad at the Tour for the first time in the absence of Thibaut Pinot, who is still struggling with a back injury sustained at last year's race.

Gaudu said he was "ruling nothing out" for GC when he spoke to Cyclingnews this week. He has taken part in the past three Tours de France, finishing a career-best in 2019 with 13 th place.

Last season he won two summit finishes at the Vuelta a España – La Farrapona and Covatilla – en route to eighth overall, while this season he has taken third at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, fifth at Itzulia Basque Country with a stage win, and top 10 at the Critérium du Dauphiné with the white young rider's jersey.

For Démare, meanwhile, it's the first appearance at the Tour since 2018. The 29-year-old has two Tour stages to his name but has focussed on the Giro d'Italia in each of the past two seasons, winning five stages along the way as well as the points jersey in 2020.

Démare, who has seven wins to his name in 2021, will be targeting stage wins and a possible green jersey bid at the Tour. He'll face off against the likes of Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the sprints.

He'll enjoy a full lead-out train at the Tour, with his pilot Jacopo Guarnieri making the squad alongside time trial specialists Ignatas Konovalovas, Miles Scotson and Stefan Küng. The Swiss rider will be among the big favourites to score a result at the two time trials at either end of the race.

27-year-old Bruno Armirail will make his Tour debut having finished second in the time trial at the French National Championships earlier this week. Climber Valentin Madouas – who finished seventh at the Tour du Var earlier this season – will be the main support rider for Gaudu. The 24-year-old finished 27th on his Tour debut last year.

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