Wednesday 14 December 2011 at 23h55

Last weekend, in Othis, close to the place where la Française des Jeux is located in Moussy-le-Vieux, the FDJ BigMat 2012 team has been presented to the public during the weekend which was organised specifically for the members of the Club des Supporters (fan club) of the FDJ team.

A bike ride Saturday afternoon, a get together at night with the presentation of the 2012 team on Saturday night and a cyclo cross on Sunday formed the programme of this interesting weekend.

The bike ride and the interview with Jérémy Roy

On Saturday afternoon, after the riders of the FDJ BigMat team already did their training ride in the morning with a loop between Moussy-le-Vieux and Senlis, a 37 kilometer long bike rider from Moussy-le-Vieux and going through Plailly, Ermenonville, Eve and Othis before coming back to Moussy-le-Vieux was open to the fans of the team who could thus share a part of the ride with the riders of the team.

A good occasion to see their prefered riders up close and personal and to ride with them in a no obligations atmosphere.

It was also for me the occasion to intervie Jérémy Roy and in the video below you'll discover that Jérémy actually also did the interview the other way around and interviewed me!
In this interview Jérémy Roy said he'd go for the first place in the cyclo cross of Moussy-le-Vieux the next day. Since than, we know that Jérémy finally took the second place, behind Christophe Delamarre as you might have read in the article Moussy-le-Vieux: the cyclo cross Jérémy Roy deserved to win! (which I'm still completely behind, despite the negative comments from the rider in question and his friends below the article; the proof is that I would have written the same article the other way around if Jérémy Roy would have been in the wheel of Christophe Delamarre and only take over in the last few meters of the race to win it, nothing today with the fact that I know the rider or not!).

(my apologies for the light delay between image and sound and the low sound level in the part of the video where Jérémy Roy does the interview the other way around)

I already presented you a video on Kinomap during the Tour de France 2011. This service allows to simultaneously and in a synchronised way a map of the track and the video of the track on a bike. Here you can discover a video of a part of the track of the FDJ BigMat bike ride on this service (if you want to see the whole track, you can click here):

The presentation of the FDJ BigMat 2012 team

On Saturday night in the sports facilities in Othis, the 2012 FDJ BigMat team was presented to the member of the team's fan club, after an introduction by the sponsoring managers of Française des Jeux and of BigMat France (as a representative of BigMat International which will be the new sponsor of the team, see the article dedicated to this news for more information) and with Marc Madiot, the manager of the team. The presentation was of course presented by Daniel Mangeas.


The interview with Marc Madiot: flashback on the 2011 season and the future of cycling in France

First of all, Marc Madiot looked back on the successes in 2011 for the FDJ team and mentioned the fact that the team deserved it's come back on UCI ProTeam level.

He continued his speech, more in his role of the President of the French Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme, mentioning that French cycling is in good health and that in 2012, the international peloton will contain no less than 10 French professional teams. He added that there will be new races added in the Coupe de France. His speech pretty much completed what he said at the prize giving ceremony of the Coupe de France PMU 2011.

The riders who stay with the team and the 2011 victories

At the end of the 2011 season, only 3 riders have left the French team: Olivier Bonnaire whose contract didn't get renewed, Gianni Meersman who left for Lotto-Belisol and Wesley Sulzberger who joined the new Australian UCI ProTeam GreenEDGE.

In 2011, the FDJ team had 28 victories in it's road season. These victories were obtained by 10 riders of the team (in chronological order of the first victory for each rider):Except from Gianni Meersman, all these riders stay loyal to the team, just like William Bonnet, Arnaud Courteille, Mickaël Delage, Pierrick Fédrigo, Arnaud Gérard, Anthony Geslin, Frédéric Guesdon who should be at the start of his last season, Arnold Jeanneson, Francis Mourey, Yoann Offredo, Rémi Pauriol, Cédric Pineau, Dominique Rollin and Benoît Vaugrenard.

The new riders

5 riders join the FDJ BigMat team in 2012 and thus make the team up to 29 riders. In alphabetical order the riders, 2 neo pros, two riders coming from the Omega Pharma-Lotto team and one rider coming from Garmin-Cervélo:
  • David Boucher is the first one, who joins the FDJ BigMat 2012 team coming from Belgium and the Omega Pharma-Lotto team who decided not to renew his contract after one year in the team of the Belgian lottery! He explains that he always wanted to ride for a French team and more importantly for FDJ which seems to be a perfect team for him .... especially after the way they treated me in Belgium.
  • Arnaud Démare shows the new FDJ BigMat 2012 jerseyArnaud Démare, the first neo pro of the French team in 2012, but not just a simple neo pro. Indeed, this is the World Champion road cycling U23 in Copenhagen who joins the French team.
  • Kenny Elissonde, also neo pro, a 20 year old young rider, who won in 2011 the Ronde de l'Isard d'Ariège after having won the 2nd stage.

    With Arnaud Démare he officially presented the new FDJ BigMat 2012 jersey!

    As explained by Arnaud Démare in the video below, Elissonde is a real climber, which is - according to the World Champion U23 - not surprising since he doesn't have a lot to take up the mountain ...
  • Gabriel Rasch, more experienced rider (he starts his 5th year as a pro rider), who already rode for a French team, Crédit Agricole, in 2008, but who seems to have lost some of knowledge of the French language while he was in the Cervélo/Garmin-Cervélo team which didn't renew his contract at the end of the season. At that time, it was Thor Hushovd himself who contacted Marc Madiot to secure a place in the FDJ BigMat team in 2012 for him.

    As for his knowledge of the French language, he'll have some time to get back to a level which will make him feel comfortable to speak in French ... for any interviews before that, they'll probably be in English! Except if someone speaks Norwegian as Gabriel suggests in the video below?
  • And finally Jussi Veikkanen. The Finish rider became a pro rider in 2005 in this same team, which at that time was still called La Française des Jeux. At the end of 2010 he left the French team for a short adventure in Belgium, also with the team sponsored by the local lottery, Omega Pharma-Lotto. The game of separations and fusions however left Veikkanen without a contract at the end of the season and we thus happily see that he'll be back with FDJ BigMat in 2012!

The photos of the FDJ BigMat 2012 team presentation

In case you didn't get a chance yet to see them, you can check out:
>> The 65 photos of the FDJ BigMat 2012 team presentation

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Team presentations 2012 | Catching up with Jérémy Roy


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