The end of March in Flanders is like a holy fortnight: Brugge-De Panne, E3 Classic, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars Door Vlaanderen and above all the Ronde Van Vlaanderen follow one another as the days go by, in the middle of the narrow roads of this mythical region. Stefan Küng approached these events with a lot of motivation, demonstrating right from E3 Classic that he wanted to ride aggressively: attacking before the Paterberg, he joined the breakaway but was unable to match the explosive acceleration of Mathieu van der Poel. For a long time, he was in contention for a podium finish, but finally finished sixteenth in Harelbeke. On Sunday, it was Laurence Pithie's turn to make the move on Gent-Wevelgem. With a perfect feel for the race, the New Zealander managed to follow Mathieu van der Poel and Mads Pedersen, before battling with them on the decisive ramps of Kemmelberg. He hung on and hung on, but it wasn't enough. "I don't think I've ever gone so deep in my life", he declared after the finish. Not rewarded with a podium that would have been more than deserved, the winner of the Cadel Evans Road Race in January nevertheless validated his Flandrien passport that day.

And the rewards for the Groupama-FDJ cycling team came on Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Stefan Küng escaped from the peloton on the Berg ten Houte - enough to be in contention for victory in the final, on the condition that he solved a difficult equation: how to deal with an outnumbered Visma - Lease a Bike team? The Swiss rider showed the necessary strength to come back several times on attacks from his rivals, but in the end, when Matteo Jorgenson accelerated, he was unable to reply. Behind the American, who won in Waregem, Stefan Küng took a fine third place. The following Sunday, Marc Madiot's riders took the start of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen full of confidence. At first, things went in their favour, with Laurence Pithie again impressing in the wheels of the leaders on the most difficult cobbled climbs. But two successive plot-twists changed the outcome of this merciless race: Stefan Küng crashed after another rider collided with a spectator, and then on the Koppenberg, with the rain coming down, many of the competitors had to climb the steep slope by foot, with their bikes over their shoulders. At the front, Mathieu van der Poel made no bones about it and went on to take victory with a large lead.

The Groupama-FDJ cycling team will not have returned from Flanders with the long-awaited victory in its pocket, which would have accredited the clear progress of this classics group, which had already scored two podium finishes on cobbled monuments in the last two years. But there's still Paris-Roubaix, next Sunday, to play the last cards of this first part of the season. A race where anything is possible: Marc Madiot (winner in 1985 and 1991), and Frédéric Guesdon (1997), can relate.


After his excellent start to the season, marked by his victories in the Classic Var and the Trofeo Laigueglia, Lenny Martinez came to the Volta Catalunya with the ambition of playing with the best in the mountain stages and the overall classification. However, this was without taking into account the clear superiority of Tadej Pogacar, final winner with a 3'41 lead, who was impossible to approach during this Spanish week. On the other hand, the twenty-year-old climber from the Groupama-FDJ cycling team put up a valiant fight against riders of his level, finishing seventh in the race and best young rider. It was his first top 10 finish in a WorldTour one-week stage race, in only his second season among the elite. 

Romain Grégoire, another former La Conti rider, showed his talent in Tirreno Adriatico, but failed to score a top 10 finish. Nevertheless, given his profile as a more puncheur-oriented rider, the Doubiste rider could be satisfied with an interesting thirteenth place in this Race of the Two Seas. Since Monday, Romain Grégoire has been competing in Itzulia (the Tour of Basque Country).
Since its early years, scouting and development have been among the founding values of the Groupama-FDJ Cycling Team. After the creation of La Conti in 2019, the structure has reached another milestone in 2020 by setting up a reinforced programme for Junior riders. The aim of the Programme Juniors is to identify and support the world's best riders under the age of 19. Led by Benoît Vaugrenard, former professional cyclist and sports director, and Joseph Berlin-Sémon, trainer at La Conti, the programme will support seven U19 riders in 2024. But the big news this year is that these riders will be competing under the same jersey on several races this season. This was already the case on 9 March with Nokere Koerse: a great first in which Eliott Boulet took fourth place and Karl Sagnier fifth. 

Joseph Berlin-Sémon doesn't consider a Junior rider has to wear the Programme jersey at every race: "We don't want to be omnipresent. We remain supportive of the club and the rider, and that's very important to us. We're very happy that he can wear the team jersey at races and training camps, but we don't want to be overshadowing the structures that develop the young riders, because we also know that they are essential." 

Discover the photos of the 7 riders from the 2024 Programme Juniors :
Through its "Par Passion du vélo" (For the Passion of Cycling) programme, Groupama is committed to promoting cycling for the benefit of everyone in every region. Aware that this passion is transmitted even within families, Groupama is making a concrete contribution to children and their parents by teaching them the right reflexes for safe cycling.

That's why, from 15 March to 19 April, many youth magazines will be displaying Groupama advice pages and games dedicated to cyclist prevention. Both fun and educational, they will be aimed at and adapted for young children (3-6 years old), children (6-12 years old), teenagers (12-15 years old), and even parents!
The list of magazines included, that can be found on your newsstand:
  • Youpi
  • Mes premiers J’aime Lire
  • J’aime Lire Max
  • Wapiti
  • Julie
  • Okapi
  • Geo Ado
  • Astrapi
  • Images Docs
  • J’aime Lire
  • Pomme d’Api    
After the Flanders classics, it's time now for the third monument of the season: Paris-Roubaix! The Hell of the North will close the chapter of cobbled races before the Ardennes sequence begins, with the Amstel Gold Race on the 14th, Flèche Wallonne on the 17th and Liège-Bastogne-Liège on the 21st. Itzulia, which kicked off on Monday, provides valuable preparation for these three races. Another WorldTour stage race will take place from 23 to 28: the Tour de Romandie, one of the two biggest Swiss competitions of the year.

In France, the middle of the month will feature a Franche-Comté three-race series: the Classic Grand Besançon with its final ascent of the Malate, the Tour du Jura with its climb of Mont Poupet, and the Tour du Doubs, a round of the FDJ French Cup. Also on French soil, La Conti will be taking part in the Circuit des Ardennes, Paris-Roubaix Espoirs and the competitive Tour de Bretagne, as well as lining up in Belgium for Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs, which Romain Grégoire won in 2022, and Gent-Kattekoer.
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