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"We'd be happy with the top 10 and a stage victory. There won't be awards for the 22 teams but sometimes we get nice surprises like last year and I'm hoping for something like that to happen this year." 

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade

GROUPAMA-FDJ

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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27.06.2015 @ 15:06 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After announcing their Tour de France team unusually early, FDJ have spoken about their goals for the race. Thibaut Pinot leads the team and is joined by Sébastien Chavanel, William Bonnet, Matthieu Ladagnous, Arnaud Démare, Steve Morabito, Alexandre Geniez, Jérémy Roy and Benoît Vaugrenard.

 

"Some years we have good reasons for waiting for the French championship, other years we don't and that's the case now," team manager Marc Madiot told Cyclingnews. "In any case, the remaining nine riders have to be part of the 13 names written on the entry form. By regulation, it's not enough to be the French champion to get a late start at the Tour."

 

Former French champion Arthur Vichot hasn’t had a great season and has struggled to find form after numerous injuries. He has been left out of the team and will focus on the WorldTour one-day races in Canada, France and Spain for this season.

 

"We talked at length with my brother Yvon and with Arthur as well yesterday and we decided he'd better give it a miss this year," Madiot explained. "He had a bad experience last. It wouldn't help him to add one more so we'll play safe and we'll save him for the end of the season. He's able to deliver in the one-day World Tour races. There isn't only the Tour de France on our agenda!”

 

Madiot also spoke on the way the team will operate, saying Pinot is number one objective, but if they can help Demare in a sprint then they will.

 

"We'll go to the Tour de France with one clear leader: Pinot," Madiot added. "When circumstances will allow it, we'll also race for Démare. It's kind of hard to draw plans for this year's Tour. Firstly, it'll be a question of coming out of Holland and Belgium in one piece, surviving the wind and the pitfalls. After stage 4, we'll have a clearer vision of the situation. If the race is quiet, we'll back Démare, if it's tense for the leaders, we'll put all our eggs in one basket for Pinot."

 

"We'd be happy with the top 10 and a stage victory," he said. "Like every year, there won't be awards for the 22 teams in contention but sometimes we get nice surprises like last year and I'm hoping for something like that to happen again this year."

 

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