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Madiot knighted by French president

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Marc Madiot

Marc Madiot (Image credit: AFP)
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French president Nicolas Sarkozy is all smiles

French president Nicolas Sarkozy is all smiles (Image credit: Francaise Des Jeux)

By Jean-François Quénet

Early this week, Française des Jeux directeur sportif Marc Madiot was made a knight of the French Legion of Honor (Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, in the local language). The medal was presented to the double winner of Paris-Roubaix (1985, 1991) by French president Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysées palace in Paris.

"This is something I never expected but it really touched my heart because of the presence of my parents and some close friends who mean a lot to me," Madiot explained. He now joins Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault among the road cyclists who have received the award.

Sarkozy's personal passion for cycling has probably played a major role in the promotion of one France's prominent cycling personalities. He looked like an enchanted fan when he was given in return a jersey signed by all of the riders from the Française des Jeux team. He publicly addressed a clear message to the president of the French national lottery Christophe Blanchard-Dignac, "You have to keep sponsoring this cycling team!"

Since Française des Jeux is a company mainly owned by the French government, the news of the extension of the sponsorship of the team with the four-leaf clover should soon follow the one of Bouygues Telecom, which has decided to stay in cycling for two more years after the 2008 season.

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Images by Francaise Des Jeux

Images by AFP Photo

  • Marc Madiot was knighted by French president Nicolas Sarkozy