Pierrick Fédrigo looking ahead with FDJ
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pierrick Fédrigo looking ahead with FDJ

by Ben Atkins at 1:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Former French champion hopes for fresh start and new motivation with Marc Madiot’s team

pierrick fedrigoAfter six years at Bbox Bouygues Telecom, Pierrick Fédrigo has made the leap to rival French team FDJ for 2011. Much of the reason had to be because of the length of time it took team manager Jean-René Bernadeau to secure Europcar as a replacement sponsor; in an interview with French sportspaper l’Equipe at the FDJ team presentation, though, the former French champion also maintains that he needed to move on to refresh his career.

“We have a great team and we will try to show that we have the means to win some good races,” Fédrigo said. "We want to find a place among the best, in the first division. It is important to us but also for the sponsor who has been very good.”

The desire to rejoin the elite, and achieve ProTeam status for 2012, is a common goal for many of the French teams. Europcar withdrew its application early on due to its search for a sponsor but Cofidis was turned down and FDJ actually lost its license.

To achieve this goal of rejoining the top table though, the rider known as the ‘Nose of Marmande’ knows that the French team has to perform in the biggest races.

“The first major objective is Paris-Nice,” he explained. “Before that, the important thing is to create a cohesive team, that’s unified and wants to win. The Tour de France is still a goal of the season but we will equally want to be present in other races, the classics and the Coupe de France. We want to be consistent throughout the season.”

As FDJ’s highest ranked rider, there is obviously pressure for Fédrigo to repay much of the faith that has been put in him by his new team. While he recognises that he has to show that he is worth the money, he also hopes to give the team’s developing riders the benefit of his experience.

“I need to show that [the team] was right to give me this contract,” he said. “There will be a little pressure but hopefully I can also be a good help to the young riders; to show them how to win races. People know me a little in the squad and they know I'm not difficult to live with. I saw a good cohesion during our training camps but also a group that gets on well together, outside of cycling.”

While the failure of Jean-René Bernadeau to find a sponsor to replace the outgoing Bbox Bouygues Telecom was a factor in many of the team’s riders departing, Fédrigo insists that the need for a change of scenery was also an important factor in joining Marc Madiot’s FDJ team.

“I had got myself into a daily routine and I wanted to see something else,” he explained. “I needed [to leave] to move forward. FDJ is the team that had the greatest potential and I also wanted to see some great times, like those I knew at Bouygues Telecom.”

While he is pleased to have moved on, Fédrigo has plenty of good memories of his time at Bbox Bouygues Telecom to look back on. His relationship in particular with former teammate, turned director, Didier Rous – who has also left the team, bound for Cofidis – is one that he remembers fondly.

“My best races and my greatest memories are there,” he said of the turquoise and white team. “I was champion of France; it was there I won my first Tour stage.

“Didier Rous, he is a great friend,” he continued. “Our paths diverged but we still keep in touch. I had an affinity with him that when we stood at the start of a race, we knew how it would go. When I won my first stage of the Tour [in 2006], we shared a room and I remember that he cried when I won.

“These are things that you do not forget.”


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