Stephen, 3 victories this year, including the first World Tour victory in the history of the team, the season was good?
The season was short, dense, stressful but really satisfying. We won early in Australia with Brodie on the Torquay race and then we were cut off in our momentum. We resumed the season and very quickly the momentum came back with the victory of Cecilie at the top of the Italian hill of San Lucca. Then Evita took the first victory at World Tour level for the team in the last stage of the Giro Rosa. We finished in 9th position in the UCI team classification, 5 riders in the world top 100…enough to be more than satisfied.
The team seemed more united than ever this year, that’s the key to success?
The group very quickly took shape, as I said at the beginning of the season it’s the first time we managed to recruit the cyclists we want, our two team managers have built a young, ambitious and really attacking group. The fact that the group is made up of very young and more experienced cyclists, 5 nationalities, we offer a wealth of cultures and strong complementarities. But what touches me the most is that this group has character! Cécilie is the perfect example of this and she pushes the group upwards.
At 21 years old, Evita Muzic brings the first WT victory to the team, it cements the training work put in place?
It’s more than a symbol, Evita joined us as soon as she graduated from Junior, and during her Junior second year she was already part of our training cycle.
During 8 stages, Evita put herself at the service of her leader, every day she seemed to increase in power and this last stage she once again applied the instructions to the letter, Brodie sacrificed herself in the last climb and Evita put herself at the bottom with the composure of a goalscorer. This cements the work of the team since 2006, training to perform and allowing the best French riders to explode at the highest level. This winter we took a big step forward at a structural level with our partners and in particular FDJ to become 100% professional and it’s paying off. This is the first victory for a French woman since the creation of the Women World Tour in 2016. Evita is only 21 years old and I am sure she will win more and that her team-mates will imitate her.
Now it’s time for the winter season, but the team remains active with the construction of the new performance centre, can you tell us more about it?
The truce is only for the cyclists, because this is the busiest period for the staff: Planning, Bike sales, Assembly of the new bikes, Equipment orders, logistics. And this season even more so because we are building our new racing department, a centre of attraction for our area which has given us so much, 700m2 dedicated to cycling: Showroom, Zwift Room; Workshop, Boutique…..a unique place in France and open to all.
A last word to conclude this season?
I would like to thank our 92 partners who have supported us during this period, now it is our turn to support them, we will redouble our efforts this winter to be even stronger and give them pleasure by winning a maximum of races. I would also like to thank my staff who give 100% to develop the team, each season I set the bar higher and whether it is the volunteer managers or the salaried staff they do not hesitate to invest themselves to put our cyclists in the best cyclists, we are now a small company of more than 30 people but we keep our values from the beginning, the passion is intact and we are very proud of it.