2011 WorldTour ranking: N/A
- Jeremy Roy: 1st at GP d’Ouverture La Marseillaise.
- Sandy Casar: 1st at Paris-Camembert.
- Thibaut Pinot: 1st overall and won one stage at Settimana Lombarda, 1st overall and won one stage at Tour Alsace, won two stages at Tour de l’Ain.
- Remi Pauriol: won mountains classification at Paris-Nice.
- Gianni Meersman: 1st overall and won one stage at Circuit des Ardennes.
- Anthony Roux: 1st overall and won one stage at Circuit de la Sarthe, 1st overall and won two stages at Circuit de Lorraine.
- Yoann Offredo: 7th at Milan-San Remo.
Riders to watch:
- Yoann Offredo
- Sandy Casar
- Pierrick Fedrigo
- Jeremy Roy
- Gianni Meersman
Why I’m following them:
FDJ are quite simply synonymous with cycling over recent times, with the famous blue clover sported on the backs of jerseys in the pro peloton since 1997, when they first burst onto the scene in the guise of La Française des Jeux.
Since then they’ve had great moments, from stage wins, holding yellow and green jerseys in the Tour de France to successes in the classics, most notably with Frederic Guesdon winning Paris-Roubaix in the team’s debut season.
Their name may have been cut to three letters but their hopes and expectations haven’t been shortened, with a talented team built for the classics. They’re back in the WorldTour after a year’s absence, meaning that they’ll be ever-present in the major races and, hopefully, as aggressive as ever.
I love the way they are so typically French, and how whenever a break has gone up the road, there’s usually an FDJ representative in it. This never-say-die attitude has seen them win many stages in the Tour de France down the years, and with Jeremy Roy going so close on numerous occasions at the 2011 Tour de France, I’m sure we will see their antics again this season.
My favourite races are the classics, and with the likes of Yoann Offredo – a very talented young Frenchman [although one who now faces possible suspension after his third failure on the whereabouts system – Ed] – and former Cervelo classics hardman Dominique Rollin on their books, top ten finishes in the major one-day races are on the cards. With the ever-aggressive breakaway specialists Sandy Casar and Jeremy Roy, along with a resurgent Pierrick Fedrigo – a former Tour de France stage winner – who missed most of last season thanks to Lyme disease, it will hopefully be a successful season for FDJ.
Watch out for regular updates tracking FDJ’s 2012 season over the coming months.