Sunday 03 February 2008 at 23h19

The French cycling team Française des Jeux for 2008 has been presented last Thursday. While the team sticks to an approach with mainly young riders its sponsor takes a chance on future successes with the good news they announced during the presentation!

With an average age of 25 years and 16 of the 27 riders who are 25 years or younger, the French team becomes the youngest ProTour team in 2008. The team seems to stick to its principles and to answer its sponsor's wish: the composition of the team has been done while thinking "young" because - apart from Ludovic Auger, Carlos Da Cruz, Christophe Detilloux and Thierry Marichal who left the team because they ended their carreer at the end of last season and from Johan Lindgren who stops cycling after one year as professional - the contracts with Bradley McGee (soon 32; went to Team CSC) and Ian McLeod (27; went back to South-Africa to join MTN Cycling) have not been continued.
Furthermore, the young French rider Fabien Patanchon (24) left the team to join the Spanish team with a French sponsor Caisse d'Epargne while the Swedish Thomas Lövkvist chose to join the German Team High Road.


The newcomers

The 9 newcomers at the Française des Jeux cycling team are mainly young riders (average age: 23 years), among whom three French neo-profs:
- Jérôme Coppel (21)
- Yoan Offredo (21)
- Anthony Roux (20)
These three young riders participated in the Cycle Formation programme last year. This Française des Jeux programme allows young riders to combine the start of a sports carreer with good education in case it doesn't work out or to have a base for the after sports career.

The other newcomers are:
- the Byelorussian Yauheni Hutarovitch (24) who comes from Roubaix Lille-Métropole
- the less young Yoann Le Boulanger (32), a French rider who was wearing the light blue Bouygues Telecom uniform last year
- Guillaume Levarlet, a young French rider (22) coming from Auber 93
- the Belgian Gianni Meersman (22) who was in the American Discovery Channel team in 2007
- another Belgian, Tom Stubbe (26) who left Chocolade Jacques to join the team with the four-leaf clover
- a third Belgian who was with Stubbe at Chocolade Jacques reed, Jelle Vanendert (22, soon 23)

The riders who stick with the team with the white shirt

Of course the team does not only have new riders: the 9 newcomers have joined an existing team of 18 riders.

Sandy Casar, at the Tour de France 2007 - click to see the big versionThe leaders:
- the Belgian Philippe Gilbert, 25, is the leader of the team and Marc Madiot, the manager, indicated he might be able to win a classic race like Milan-San Remo
- the French Sandy Casar (photo) who celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday and who will probably be one of the team's main Tour riders, just like last year when he won the 18th stage (on 27 July 2007)

The old riders of the team:
- Frédéric Guesdon (French, 36) who will probably participate in most classic races
- Christophe Mengin (French, 39)

The other riders:
- Sébastien Chavanel (French, 26)
- Mickaël Cherel (French, 21), who became a prof-rider at Française des Jeux during the 2007 season
- Mickaël Delage (French, 22) who finished 4th in the Tour Down Under 2008
- Rémy Di Grégorio (French, 22), who was the best climber in the Dauphiné Libéré in 2007
- Arnaud Gérard (French, 23)
Matthieu Ladagnous, at the Tour de France 2007 - click to see the big version
- Timothy Gudsell (New-Zealander, 23, soon 24)
- Lilian Jégou (French, 32)
- Sébastien Joly (French, 28) who makes his come-back in cycling after one year absence because of a cancer
- Matthieu Ladagnous (French, 23; photo)
- Cyrille Monnerais (French, 24)
- Françis Mourey (French, 27)
- Jérémy Roy (French, 24)
- Benoît Vaugrenard (French, 26), French champion time trial 2007
- Jussi Veikkanen (Finn, 26)

The goals for the 2008 season

The Française des Jeux team's main goals for 2008 can be resumed in three big events: the Olympic Games in Beijing, the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

In addition to these three events, the Belgian newcomers were mainly recruited for the northern classic races.

The team management

The team management didn't really change: Marc Madiot is still the general manager of the team and the team managers are his brother Yvon Madiot, Martial Gayant, Franck Pineau (Cédric Pineau's father; Cédric is in the AG2R-La Mondiale team) and Thierry Bricaud.


The extension of the sponsor contract

At the presentation Christophe Blanchard-Dignac, General Manager for Française des Jeux (the company) said: We at Française des Jeux have been fan of cycling since 11 years now. During all these years we have seen the guts and temperament of our riders and their management, but also of their fans. He then confirmed the extension of the sponsor contract with another two years: The Française des Jeux company board unanimously decided to continue our investment in cycling for another two years, that is for 2009 and 2010.

He did add however: The next meeting with the board is in June and I'll tell them whether there's been any progress in the fight against doping after the introduction of the biological passport and to indicate them in which way Française des Jeux will provide a financial and sports contribution.

About the conflicts between mainly the organisers of the grand tours and the UCI he said: Last year I asked "does a future exist for the ProTour?". I think we now know what we can count on. The question mark is no longer necessary. The only thing we want is to participate in the Tour de France and the other big races.
The Française des Jeux 2008 team photo

door Thomas Vergouwen
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11 comments | 11990 views

this publication is published in: Team presentation 2008 | Cycling general (except Tour de France) | Marketing


There are 11 comments!
  1. Eigenlijk zou je bij alle ploegenpresentaties uitgenodigd moeten worden... Kun je overal zo'n leuk verslag van schrijven ;-)

    | Meggie | tuesday 05 February 2008 om 18h26

  2. I\'d like to wish the team every success for the season. Can you tell me when the replica team kit will be available in the shops or online?

    | nick porter | Wednesday 06 February 2008 om 12h56

  3. Hi Nick!

    The replica team kit is already available for some teams (online), but for most teams it will become available in March/April (the "historical" start of the cycling season even though it now starts in January already ...). I think Française des Jeux' team kit will be available around that time as well. They currently still propose their 2007 kit here though.

    Strangely they don't have the bibshorts, but only the normal shorts ...

    | Thomas Vergouwen | Sunday 10 February 2008 om 14h28

  4. Thanks Thomas. I don't know if you or anyone else connected with the team has any idea if any shops in the UK stock the team kit. I have been searching unsuccessfully on the web! Many thanks, Nick

    | nick porter | Friday 15 February 2008 om 11h01

  5. Check Here they sell pro tour outfits by Nalini.

    | peter | Friday 22 February 2008 om 00h42

  6. Goededag heeft eddy van hasselt ook bij deze ploeg gezeten???

    | Carlo | Monday 19 May 2008 om 11h59

  7. Hallo Carlo,

    Voorzover ik weet niet hoor ...


    | Thomas Vergouwen | Monday 19 May 2008 om 20h06

  8. chavanel tu é tro booooooooooo

    | dauphin | Sunday 13 July 2008 om 20h14

  9. chavanel tu é tro booooooooooo

    | dauphin | Sunday 13 July 2008 om 20h14

  10. Bonsoir .
    Je vous envoie ce mail pour vous dire que je suis un grand fan de Cyclisme , je regarde les courses à la télé , j'adore le tour de France , et je suis un grand fan de l'equipe la Française des Jeux , j'habite à Langres en Haute- Marne , mon rève c'est de rencontrer un jour Sébastien Chavanel de le voir en vrai , de pouvoir discuter avec de vélo , j'adore aussi son frère Sylvain qui lui est dans une autre équipe , je vous laisse , bravo à l'équipe Française des Juex pour ce qu'elle fait dans le vélo , bonne soirée à vous TOUS .

    | Leseur | Wednesday 01 October 2008 om 23h39

  11. Bonjour Leseur,

    Pour avoir l'occasion de rencontrer les frères Chavanel, je pense que tu trouveras peut-être ton bonheur dans le Tour de France 2009 car si les rumeurs se confirment il y aura une arrivée à Vittel le 16 juillet et un départ le 17 juillet. Au départ les coureurs sont relativement disponibles (surtout si on compare à d'autres sports où les joueurs sont quasiment inaccessibles !), donc je pense que le 17 juillet ça vaut le déplacement !

    On se verra peut-être là-bas alors ! ;-)

    | Thomas Vergouwen | Saturday 04 October 2008 om 14h52

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