Shimano and Groupama-FDJ have fun 25 years of partnership, Shimano's longest within the WorldTour
Shimano has announced that it will renew its long-term partnership with the French team Groupama-FDJ after 25 years of cooperation, more than with any other team on the WorldTour.
Marc Madiot's team has been operating Shimano components since 1997. The anniversary coincides with that of Shimano, the 100th anniversary of the Japanese company it will celebrate in 2021.
The team, which has also been supported by the Française des Jeux-Lotterie since the two-time Paris Roubaix winner Madiot was founded in 1997, has recorded over 530 victories, including three monuments and 35 Grand Tour stage wins in Shimano's flagship group Dura -Ace.
In that first year, Frédéric Guesdon repeated his director's most famous victories with a win in Paris-Roubaix, while Christophe Mengin won a Tour de France stage and Davide Rebellin – who is still a professional at the age of 49 – the Clasica San Sebastian and Zurich won the GP.
This year, their Gitane motorcycles were equipped with the now legendary 9-speed Dura-Ace 7700, which is made of shiny polished aluminum.
Five years later, Bradley Wiggins turned pro at FDJ, where he stayed for a year.
In 2012, Madiot, memorably, leaned out the window of the team car and knocked on the door as he pushed Thibaut Pinot to victory as the youngest driver of the Tour at the age of 22.
Next to the current French national champion Arnaud Démare and the European time trial champion Stefan Küng, Pinot is on the squad of the 2021 team, all of whom are equipped with Lapierre Aircode (picture) and Xelius motorcycles, which are equipped with Shimano's Di2 shift and disc brake technology with the Dura to start the season. Ace R9170 group.
Shimano's new Dura-Ace is expected to be unveiled in the course of 2021. In its usual product cycle, Dura-Ace would have been launched in 2020 and Ultegra in 2021. For the anniversary it remains to be seen where the next Ultegra iteration will end up.
In a press release from Shimano, Madiot said: “It is quite fitting that Shimano and the Groupama-FDJ team are celebrating a historic anniversary in the year Shimano itself celebrates its centenary. Whether it's a quarter of a century of success or 100 years of making revolutionary bicycle components, Shimano can enviable support its customers and partners in delivering quality when and where it matters. We look forward to further anniversaries and special moments in the years to come. "
Shimano Sponsorship Manager Myron Walraven said: “The Groupama-FDJ team is one of the cornerstones of our sponsorship approach. Shimano's products undoubtedly deliver outstanding performance in front of the cameras and work as a true partner behind the cameras. Thanks to working with Marc and the legendary drivers under his leadership over the years, they are undoubtedly better. "
Groupama-FDJ kicked off their WorldTour calendar on the UAE Tour, which started on Sunday February 21st. Anthony Roux sprinted to seventh place.
Shimano today also announced the continuation of its sponsorship for Team DSM, formerly Sunweb. DSM's men's, women's and development programs will continue to use Shimano's components and accessories, including Dura-Ace groupsets, wheels, power meters and PRO saddles. You will also be using the latest Shimano S-Phyre RC902 shoes.