On Sunday, the Tour de France came to an end on the Champs Elysées, as usual. David Gaudu and Thibaut Pinot then secured ninth and tenth places respectively in the general classification of this 2023 edition, while Jordi Meeus got the victory in this last stage. Groupama-FDJ finished the “Grande Boucle” without a win but showed satisfaction about the team spirit for the past three weeks. As for Thibaut Pinot, he said his final farewell to the event, at the end of his tenth participation.
As usual during the last stage of the Tour leading to the Champs Elysées, the day was made of two parts. The first, of fifty kilometres or so, was about smiles, pictures and having fun. The second, from the first lap of the Paris circuit, was about proper racing. The white jersey and second overall Tadej Pogacar even went on the attack to light up the day, then Kevin Geniets, Stefan Küng or Quentin Pacher also tried to follow the moves. A trio eventually managed to take up to thirty seconds in the last half hour of racing, but the bunch sprint once again proved unavoidable. Jordi Meeus surprised the big favourites at the finish and Jonas Vingegaard could officialise his second title on the Tour. Due to a slightly wet road, the times also got taken with one lap to go. David Gaudu and Thibaut Pinot then finished one minute after the winner but secured their ninth and eleventh places overall respectively. Valentin Madouas meanwhile completed the event’s top-20 (20th).
“What matters to me is the full commitment of the team”, Marc Madiot
The Groupama-FDJ cycling team also scored eight top-10 on stages during the Tour but ended up without a victory in this 2023 edition despite numerous attempts. “The Tour was a little more difficult than last year for us, a little less straightforward, but I think we still did well, even if the pure results are not extraordinary”, explained Marc Madiot. “We have two riders in the overall top-11, we are fifth in the team classification, and we showed good cohesion. There was also the final touch, with Thibaut Pinot’s last show in front of his crowd, which made an impact, and which will remain in the memories. Winning stages is one thing, but what matters to me is the full commitment of the team over the full duration of the race. To win stages, you also need the right circumstances. I liked the consistency. If we want the team to progress in the world hierarchy, it’s something necessary. It may not be very spectacular, but it makes the foundations and the solidity of the team over time and in all circumstances”.
After his fourth place in 2022, David Gaudu logically came with high ambitions on the Tour this season, but the Frenchman does not regret anything from the past three weeks. “We shouldn’t normalize the overall top-10 even if it was not the initial objective”, he said. “We were aiming for the podium, and unfortunately it didn’t happen. I still hung on every day, and I was at 100% from the start even if some wrote me off after the Dauphiné. I have nothing to feel bad about. The team worked really well, and we always got out of stressful situations.” “David had a tough Tour”, confirmed Marc. “There were obvious expectations of him. He fought, and he is in the top-10 at the end. I think that’s not bad. There was no letting go from him, his teammates, or the team in general. It basically shows that the team was always there. Even if it was less stunning than last year, I’ll remember that the team was solid, united and competitive”. Thibaut Pinot also was competitive and bowed out on the Tour the day after a memorable day. On Sunday, he finally had only one thing to say: “I really enjoyed my last Tour”. Just like the Tour enjoyed him.