Groupama-FDJ have revealed part of their lineups for the 2024 Grand Tours, with GC rider David Gaudu set to ride both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
Gaudu will lead their fight for the podium at the Tour at his seventh Tour in as many years. The Frenchman will be hoping to bounce back from last year where, although he finished ninth, he was absent from the leading group on the biggest stages and arrived in Paris 23 minutes off the lead.
For Gaudu the aims for the season were simple: “Get back to winning, aim high in the Tour de France, achieve a great season,” he said on the team’s Instagram.
His best result came in 2022 where he finished fourth and rode with brilliant tactics alongside his team to move up from eighth to fourth overall. One of his key domestiques that year was French national Champion Valentin Madouas, with the versatile Classics rider also an option for stage wins.
They’ve lost long-term leader Thibaut Pinot to retirement and sprinter Arnaud Démare to Arkea-Samsic B&B Hotels, so will be all in on Gaudu to challenge the overall and reach the podium at the Tour.
His race will need to go perfect, however, if he is to beat the stacked start list filled with GC stars the likes of Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Primož Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) to name just four.
Exciting young prospect Romain Grégoire is also scheduled to make his debut at the Tour in 2023 alongside the big names, earning his place with a brilliant neo-pro season that saw him take five wins and narrowly miss out on a Vuelta a España stage victory.
“After discovering the Vuelta in 2023, I’m going to take part in my first Tour de France in 2024. It’s obviously a dream, but the aim isn’t only to go there: it is to perform well,” said Gregoire via the team’s social media.
“I learnt a lot last year, I won a few races, but I still want to go one step further and establish myself at the highest level. I can’t wait to take on the biggest race on the calendar. I know I still have a lot to learn but I’m approaching the calendar confidently.”
Grégoire, still only 20, found immediate form in the WorldTour in 2023 with an eighth-place finish at Strade Bianche in March. Alongside Madouas, the French side would have great stage hunting options on punchy terrain at the Tour if they are allowed the freedom.
Stefan Küng will be back for his eighth Tour de France and eyeing up the flat 25km individual time trial on stage 7 into Gevrey-Chambertin, with a maiden Grand Tour victory still eluding his palmarès despite twice finishing second on stages of the Tour in the past.
Outside of the Tour, Groupama also revealed Gaudu as one of their key riders for the Vuelta a España alongside Lenny Martinez, who last year became the youngest-ever wearer of the red jersey at 20.
Martinez held red after finishing second to Sepp Kuss on stage 6 and held it for two days. The young French climber is another key part of the team’s future and has shown great promise by taking his first pro win at the CIC – Mont Ventoux ahead of Michael Woods.
Gaudu has only raced at the Vuelta once in 2020, but while on debut there he took two stage wins and eighth overall so his confidence should be sky-high on Spanish roads.