Groupama-FDJ inks new deals with Thibaut Pinot, Arnaud Demare, David Gaudu and Stefan Küng
Jun 05 2020 03:25 am CET

Groupama-FDJ inks new deals with Thibaut Pinot, Arnaud Demare, David Gaudu and Stefan Küng
Groupama-FDJ inks new deals with Thibaut Pinot, Arnaud Demare, David Gaudu and Stefan Küng
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Groupama-FDJ has announced the contract extensions of Thibaut Pinot, Arnaud Démare, David Gaudu and Stefan Küng until 2023.

Thanks to the support of its two title sponsors, the French team has decided to continue its ambitious plan with new sporting objectives that include a victory in a Grand Tour. This is why the formation has decided to renew the contracts of four of its emblematic riders that were about to finish their contracts.

"Extending this quartet of riders is an obvious act," said the team's General Manager Marc Madiot. "Each one of them brings his own contribution to the building. Since the team’s inception, it has always been and remains committed to its riders over the long term. Very often, they are riders who have become professionals with us so that we have a relationship of trust and very high ambitions. I remain convinced that in order to achieve extremely high sporting goals, you have to be committed to the long term.

"You only have to look at the history of the sport to confirm this. Our title sponsors Groupama and FDJ have shown their confidence in us for another four years by committing themselves alongside us until 2024. This is what has enabled us to offer Thibaut Pinot, Arnaud Démare, David Gaudu and Stefan Küng a plan which is in keeping with the long term."

Demare -former French national champion and winner of races like Milano-Sanremo and the London-Surrey Classic- is happy with the confidence put in him by the team. "The Groupama-FDJ Team is a structure which has made me grow, in every sense of the word," he explained. "From 2011 as a trainee until today, I’ve been able to count on the unfailing support of Marc Madiot and the whole of the Sport Department. The team has accompanied me towards my greatest successes and supported me in moments of doubt. To sign up again for another three years illustrates the loyalty and recognition I give to those who make me the racer I am today. I am fortunate to be able to evolve in a structure supported by two loyal sponsors, both driven by a quest for performance and determination. I find myself in these values.

"Finally, the fact that I am bound for a period of three years, which is rather rare in the current cycling panorama, allows me to project myself onto a new cycle. I will be able to find a real dynamic of progress while having a long-term vision. I need serenity and confidence to be able to record performances at the highest level. And the Groupama-FDJ Team is the only formation which can provide me with such conditions."

Gaudu is ready to face new challenges with Groupama-FDJ. "I am happy that the team and the sponsors have put their trust in me until the end of 2023," the Frenchman explained. "It’s a nice way to put into time a project we started four years ago. The team has given me the time I need to get my bearings, integrate and progress at my own pace. I’ve been able to climb the ladder little by little.

"Today, we can say that my learning phase is over. From now on, I will be able to play a more assertive role within the team and the sports management will also have high expectations of me. I’ll be there to help my leaders win certain races, but I’ll also be aiming to win races that are meant for me. The next three years are going to be exciting and I’m lucky that the team is offering me these great opportunities."

Küng -Swiss time trial national champion- has found his place in the French team. "When I decided to join Marc Madiot’s ranks two years ago, I was attracted by the role the team wanted to offer me and by the research carried out by the Performance Division," the rider commented. "I was convinced that I had found the right address. The motto of this team is 'The desire to come, the pleasure of staying'. Now I understand the full meaning of these words. The Groupama-FDJ cycling team offers me the structure I need for my personal development. When we began discussions to extend the adventure, we very quickly came to an agreement.

"Loyalty is a very important value in my eyes. Over the last two seasons, I’ve been able to assimilate and take on a leadership role. Now I know that I’m capable of bringing the team great results. We have progressed together. And I’m in the right structure to continue my progress in different areas. We will continue to grow collectively and that’s what makes the project so interesting. In addition, the entire Performance Division has involved me a great deal in the research and development work carried out on an ongoing basis with the team and our partners. These investments tie me even more closely to the sports structure. I feel integrated and listened to in order to work on optimizing performance. As an athlete, this approach is rewarding. And I want to continue moving in this direction with a team that trusts me."

Pinot, winner of three stages of the Tour de France, is eager to continue proving himself in the La Grande Boucle. "It was obvious that they wanted to continue the adventure with the Groupama-FDJ Cycling Team," he affirmed. "The commitment of our two title sponsors until 2024 was clearly a determining factor in my decision to stay. Being able to count on loyal sponsors and partners enables us all to progress serenely. As we have seen once again during this period of crisis, we are fortunate to have strong and committed sponsors. From a sporting point of view, the project is becoming more and more ambitious and interesting. Today, we can see the rise of young people like David Gaudu or Valentin Madouas and that is creating a real craze around us.

"Personally, it stimulates me and pushes me to transcend myself. Leaving, when I arrive in my best years, would have left me with a taste of unfinished business. I haven’t finished writing my story with this team. I’m firmly convinced that we’re still going to build great things and win the best races. The Tour de France is obviously still the ultimate goal for which I want to devote myself 100%."



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