FDJ secure sponsorship for a further two years

French national lottery to continue sponsorship after almost two decades with the team

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

FDJ have secured sponsorship for a further two years through to 2018 from their long-term backers of the same name.

The French national lottery, Française des Jeux have supported the team for almost 20 years, having began life with the squad in 1997.

>>> Could France lose another home Tour contender to a foreign team?

The WorldTour team announced the news at a presentation on Thursday in Paris, where manager Mark Madiot presented his riders outlined the team's aims for the coming 2016 season.

Those ambitions included seeing Thibaut Pinot have a successful Tour de France, with the French rider saying that a stage and a place in the top five in general classification would be ideal. The 25-year-old will also be looking for success on a hilly road race course at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Watch: Thibaut Pinot win on Alpe d'Huez in the 2015 Tour de France

Madiot also said he wanted to see Arnaud Démare, the team's sprinter back to "number one" in France, suggesting that the World Championships road race in Qatar in October could suit the 24-year-old.

Démare took only two professional wins in the 2015 season, both at the Tour of Belgium, while the team's highlight of last season surely came through Pinot, who rescued a disastrous Tour de France by taking a sensational victory on the summit finish to Alpe d'Huez.

Pinot, who said earlier this week he would not rule out leaving FDJ at the end of his current copntract, will likely be supported through this year's Tour by new signing Sebastian Reichenbach from IAM Cycling.

The team have also added highly rated young Norweigian rider Odd Christian Eiking to their line-up for the next two years.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).