The past few weeks have been a busy time for FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope. Christmas came early for the French Women's WorldTour outfit, who first showed off their bold new jersey design, before three days later showcasing their new bikes, and within hours, a brand new dedicated service course.
The team's new home spans 670 square metres and represents a near million Euro investment into the team. According to team manager Stephen Delcourt, the new home represents a "centre of performance" for the team. In addition to bike storage, the service course boasts a public shop, workshops for mechanics, rooms dedicated to bike fitting, changing rooms, offices, and even a 'Zwift room' for indoor training.
"It was our dream to build this facility," Delcourt told Cyclingnews. "We’ve been planning it for three years, and when we received the WorldTeam licence, we decided that it was time to grow. It's not simply a service course. It's a place for everyone, and for our fans to come and meet the team, look through our brand showrooms, participate in Zwift events, have a coffee, and watch women’s races live on television."
The investment and infrastructure represent a step toward further professionalism of the team, something which is clearly appreciated by the riders. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, who has just penned a deal that sees her committed to the team until 2022, said "I'm sure no other women's team has such infrastructure. It exists in boys but even they would be surprised."
Bike presentation by @CUttrupLudwig 😎#RideAndShine pic.twitter.com/pbo4720eftDecember 20, 2020
The bikes in question are the same Lapierre Xelius models as used in 2020, but are given an all-new navy blue colour scheme. The frame of the bike is resplendent in a metallic navy base coat, which is complemented by white logos and white bar tape, with a pattern-designed fork.
The Francaise Des Jeux team has long had a deep partnership with Shimano and as such, the bikes are kitted out with various components from the Japanese brand. The wheels are the brand's Dura-Ace C60 carbon tubulars, and the seatpost, stem, handlebar and tape are from Shimano's components subsidiary, PRO. Despite the expected arrival of a new Dura-Ace groupset in 2021, the bikes are fitted with Shimano's Dura-Ace R9170 Di2 disc brake groupset, and power measurement comes from the integrated R9170-P power meter crankset.
Tyres are the ever-popular Continental Pro Ltd tubulars, pedals also come from Shimano's Dura-Ace range, and despite PRO making its own saddles, Italian company Prologo has supplied the team's saddles. Another Italian company, Elite, is responsible for bottle cages, and away from the bike, Elite also supplies turbo trainers.
- Check out our full roundup of the UCI Women's WorldTour tech for a run down of what bikes, clothing and equipment the women's peloton is using in 2021.
Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.
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