FDJ team to become Groupama-FDJ in 2018 season, with big budget increase

An extra €4m added to team's budget by new sponsor

Arthur Vichot on stage four of the Tour de Suisse
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

French team FDJ will be called Groupama-FDJ from next season after securing new sponsorship from insurance group Groupama.

The deal will come into effect at the start of March, meaning that the team will race under its new name and wearing new kit for the first time at Paris-Nice.

Despite Groupama's green corporate logo, L'Equipe reports that the team's kit will remain predominantly white and blue, as it has done for its whole 20-year history, and that the French champion's tricolour jersey will remain free of sponsors' logos.

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Like Ag2r La Mondiale, Groupama is a major provider of insurance within France, and will provide investment that will increase the team's budget from €16 million to €20 million for next season.

This increase is despite a reduction in the contribution by French national lottery FDJ, which is looking at opportunities to invest in other sports, particularly surrounding the 2024 Olympics which will be held in Paris.

The increased budget will also allow Groupama-FDJ to create a development team racing at Continental level, which will wear the same kit and share resources with the WorldTour squad.

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Reacting to the news of his new sponsor, team general manager Marc Madiot said that he welcomed the investment in the team, and had no worries about the team losing its identity with FDJ not being the principal sponsor for the first time in the team's history.

"It's a big boost to the team," Madiot said. "20 years ago, we started like a small grocery store trying to become a great company. The agreement reached between the FDJ and Groupama companies will allow us to go further.

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"I would like to say thank you to FDJ. For 20 years, there has been great cohesion between the team and the sponsor. We follow the same philosophy. And that's also the case with Groupama.

"This agreement is the beginning of something else. You have to live with the times, adapt to changes. In my role as manager, I keep abreast of the evolution of my sport so that I can react on a daily basis and keep my vision of the team."

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.