‘I'm angry and disheartened’ - Arnaud Démare left out of Tour de France by Groupama-FDJ

David Gaudu and Thibaut Pinot will head up French team at home Grand Tour, Démare to leave FDJ at end of season

Arnaud Demare
(Image credit: Getty Images)

French sprinter Arnaud Démare was left devastated after being snubbed by Groupama-FDJ for the team’s Tour de France squad for the second year in a row, and confirmed he will leave the team at the end of the season.

In an interview with L’Equipe at the Tour de Suisse, Démare voiced frustration at missing out and said he had been made aware of his omission by general manager Marc Madiot last week. He also confirmed that he would be leaving Groupama-FDJ at the end of the season after being deemed surplus to requirements by Madiot.

"I'm angry and disheartened because I worked for this, and I made concessions this winter knowing that I would only have one teammate with me for the sprints," Démare said.

"Normally, when they tell me I'm not doing the Tour, it's in December, and you don't speak of preparation. This time, I was on the Tour," he added. "My close ones had booked holidays around the Tour, my wife had reserved hotel rooms to come on the rest days. I don't know what I'm going to do [instead]. I don't know. I'll look at the results but I'm going to feel sick watching stages finish in sprints."

Thibaut Pinot has been given a place in the team’s lineup in support of their general classification hope David Gaudu, although Démare has been forced to sit out once more. 

According to reports, Démare had been initially pencilled in as a possibility for Tour selection over the winter. However, that idea then created a stir within the team with Gaudu revealing that he was against it.

In an online chat room conversation - which was leaked in January - Gaudu explained that he and the sprinter did not see eye to eye.

“He knows I don’t want him at the Tour,” Gaudu wrote. “I’ve already told him.”

Gaudu would eventually issue an apology for his comments.

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Tom Thewlis

Tom has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

Since joining the team, he has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the World Championships in Glasgow. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world. 

As well as on the ground reporting, Tom writes race reports from the men's and women's WorldTour and helps with coverage of UK domestic cycling.