Arnaud Démare, March 7, 2016, in Vendôme (Loir-et-Cher), after a stage victory during the Paris-Nice race. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
A new page is turning within Groupama-FDJ. A few months before the announced retirement of Thibaut Pinot, another pillar of the French team did not even wait for the end of the season to change training. Sprinter Arnaud Démare (31) has indeed terminated his contract with his lifelong team, which he joined in 2011, to sign with Arkéa-Samsic. The Breton formation announced it on Tuesday August 1, in a press release.
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” It is [la meilleure chose] that could happen to me in order to quickly turn the page, and project myself into the future. I have a lot of desire [pour] this end of the season. I’m opening a new chapter in my career, within a team that believes in me and motivates me. My will is enormous and tenfold”explained the Picard runner on the website of his new formation, whose colors he will wear – at least – until the end of the 2025 season.
Expected, the transfer of Arnaud Démare finally took place earlier than expected, after several hectic weeks. The sprinter had very badly taken the fact of not being selected among the eight riders participating in the Tour de France with Groupama-FDJ. “I am angry, disgusted, because I worked for it, I made concessions this winter knowing that I would have a teammate with me for the sprint”he declared, in June, in The team.
Tour de France objective
His manager, Marc Madiot, had then preferred riders with a climbing profile to support their leader David Gaudu (finally 9th in the general classification of the Tour) in the mountains. A decision that the runner has never digested. “Together, there was a way to do a good job. I think I had my place as a teammate.regrets Arnaud Démare. On its website, Arkéa-Samsic explains that the team’s objective is to allow its new sprinter to play his card during one-day races such as during the Tour de France, where he signed two victories by stages (in 2017 and 2018).
In addition to its successes on the Grande Boucle, Picard has built up one of the biggest honors in French cycling by winning a “monument” (one of the five most prestigious one-day races), Milan-San Remo in 2016. , and also shining on the Tour of Italy where he raised his arms eight times at the finish of a stage. Arnaud Démare could quickly continue to grow his record since he could be aligned at the end of the month on the Tour of Spain (from August 26 to September 17).
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