Tour de France: Gaudu, Kung to support Pinot in Groupama-FDJ's squad

Groupama-FDJ has selected a proven team of seven riders to support Thibaut Pinot for the Tour de France.

Pinot won the Tour de l'Ain and Tour du Haut Var this season, and, as a former podium finisher in 2014, has made the Tour de France his major focus for the year after skipping the race last season.

Directeur sportif Yvon Madiot introduced the team in a press release, calling Pinot a "relentless fighter".

"We are expecting to see Thibaut fighting with the best at the most intense moments," Madiot said. "I want to see an aggressive rider. I am expecting the Thibaut Pinot who thrives on great attacks in the mountains. This way, by being an attacker, the general classification will come automatically."

Key to Pinot's challenge for the podium will be David Gaudu, winner of the best young rider's jersey in the Tour de Romandie, and new recruit Stefan Küng who will lead the squad in the team time trial.

"One cannot conceal the fact that David has become one of the best climbers in the world now. After his third place at the UAE Tour general classification, his sixth place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and his recent stage victory at Tour de Romandie, David came forward every time we expected him.

"Essential to the group next to Thibaut Pinot, he will also have his own opportunities in the mountains. We are expecting him as a trouble-maker. He will be the one to destabilise our opponents to enable his leader to place an attack," Madiot said.

He called Küng "a winner, a hard-worker, a perfectionist". "Stefan also brings to the group a real culture of precision. He gives everyone the desire to surpass themselves".

The team is completed by trusted domestiques William Bonnet, Anthony Roux, Matthieu Ladagnous, Rudy Molard and Sebastian Reichenbach.

Groupama-FDJ for the Tour de France: Thibaut Pinot, William Bonnet, David Gaudu, Stefan Küng, Matthieu Ladagnous, Rudy Molard, Sébastian Reichenbach and Anthony Roux.

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