Groupama-FDJ riders are to climb aboard Willier Triestina bikes from 2024, after the French team ended its 22-year-long partnership with Lapierre.
How the bikes will look will be unveiled on the 1 January, potentially alongside the squad's new kit, but FDJ will ride the Willier Filante SLR, already ridden by Astana Qazaqstan in the WorldTour, alongside the Willier Turbine SLR for time trials.
The Italian bike company is already present in cycling's highest level through its partnership with Astana, which dates from 2020. Previously, the brand had also been a title sponsor for Italian Pro Conti team Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia, which ceased to exist in 2021.
Lapierre made the decision to end the partnership between itself and Groupama-FDJ at the end of this year, with Elisa Madiot-Gagnier, the head of partner and institutional relations, saying that the brand would take a "different road next year", after their contract ended. They will still supply bikes for the FDJ-Suez women's team in 2024.
Willier's decision to sponsor Groupama-FDJ as well as Astana-Qazaqstan makes it the third bike brand to sponsor more than one team on the WorldTour, after Canyon (with Movistar and Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Specialized (Bora-Hansgrohe and Soudal Quick-Step).
16 races were won by Astana aboard the bikes in 2023, with one WorldTour win through Mark Cavendish. Groupama-FDJ will seek to add to that next year, as a team with a fresh look, thanks to the retirement of Thibaut Pinot and departure of Arnaud Démare.
The length of the contract was not divulged in the announcement, but was said to be a "multi-year technical sponsorship agreement". Andrea Gastaldello, Willier's executive chairman, described the deal as the "start of a new era" and an "important new beginning". Gastaldello welcomed the partnership along with his brothers and partners Enrico and Michele.
Marc Madiot, the team boss of Groupama-FDJ, said that it was the "start of a great adventure".
"I am delighted and honoured to announce today that Wilier Triestina has joined the Groupama-FDJ cycling Team family as an Official Partner," the Frenchman said. "This is the start of a great adventure with a renowned Italian company that has left its mark on the history of cycling.
"Their enthusiasm and the quality of their technical and engineering teams immediately echoed the standards and attention we pay every day to the quest for the highest performance.
"The spirit of all our technical partnerships is to develop together and use our respective expertise to move up the range, and that's what appealed to us about Wilier Triestina's approach. Together, we're going to write a new page in the History of Groupama-FDJ cycling Team and showcase these new machines on the road from the very first day of the 2024 season."
Groupama-FDJ and Willier Triestina partnering up is just the latest on the French team and bike brand merry-go-round, with AG2R Citroën swapping BMC for Decathlon's Van Rysel next season, and TotalEnergies switching out Specialized for ENVE.
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1