Often considered as over-rated just for being a French team with a comfortable budget, Groupama-FDJ had a really good 2022 season.
With the exception of the Vuelta, they have delivered with purpose in all of the big racing events.
Being part of ‘small team’, Marc Madiot’s men had the advantage of being priced at a relatively lower price compared to the big hitters in Velogames.
The Swiss time-trial expert has completely metamorphosed this season.
While he was showing sign of improvements in the mountain during the past season, nothing could have predicted his performances in the classics races.
After a slow start in the Italian classics at the start of the season, he was an absolute hit in fantasy cycling in the Belgian, Dutch and France classics.
-3rd in E3 saxo- classics (405 pts), 6th in Dwars door Vlaanderen (336) and 5th in Ronde Van -Vlaanderen (450pts).-8th in Amstel Gold Race(216pts).-3rd at Paris-Roubaix(480pts).
Adding to that a 20th place at the World championship road race that brought him 132 points.
2064 points is a impressive tally for a rider that cost 16 credit. (only Biniam Girmay at 8 credits points did better)
A famous choice at 6 credit in the Tour de France at 26.8%, his main income came through a 4th place stage finish.
While many were expecting better from him in the time-trials, he had a lot of points coming his way in assists.
Ending up with 410 points, there were definite better investment but so many worst one.
The Tour de Suisse was the highlight of his Velogames stage performance. His amazing performance(5th- finalGc) earned him a spot at the best possible team. At 6 credit points only, he brought home the 3rd best total of 628 points. Only first two riders, G.Thomas and Higuita did better.
Verdict 2023: His price tag will be a major deciding factor for the classics. While it is most likely he will still feature at the front of the races, his weakness in sprints will be a factor when choosing riders in the same price range.
More famous for his puncheur abilities, the Frenchman was the real french revelation of the season. At 24, his room for improvement is huge.
Sensational on the cobbles of the Ardennes (7th, 11th, 3rd, 14th in E3, Dwaars, Ronde and Amstel respectively), his 15th place in Bretagne Classic Ouest brought him a total of 1424 in the superclassico.
Nothing much to see in the stage races, except for that 10th Final place at the Tour de France. This performance bought him 642 points. The second best behind Bob Jungels as unclassed costing 6 credits.
Verdict 2023: While all eyes will be on him in the classics as he also pack a good sprint. He should be considered in grand Tours should he be affordable.
The former French champion keeps getting overlooked and he keeps delivering.
Bretagne Classic Ouest France and BEMER classics were the only races in the Superclassico calendar where he failed to bring any point.
For 20 credits, he finished as 17th best superclassico rider with 1713 points collected over the course of 6 races only!
While he did not have the best of Tirreno- Adriatico where he still managed to accumulate 167 points (23rd), he made it to the best possible team in the 2 other stage races he was part of: Giro Italia and Tour de Pologne.
Best possible @velogames team for the #Giro:AR: Richard Carapaz, Pello BilbaoC: Jai Hindley, Lennard Kämna, Koen Bouwman (Wildcard)S: Arnaud DémareU: Mathieu Van Der Poel, Juan Pedro López, Gijs Leemreize12737 points, 94 credits— Calum Lonie 🇮🇪🇨🇵🇪🇺 (@CalumLonie) May 30, 2022
Best possible team for Tour de Pologne 2022:Ethan HayterArnaud DémareThymen ArensmanOlav KooijPhil BauhausMatteo SobreroQuinten HermansMax KanterJonathan MilanScore: 4111Cost: 100— Jeremad (@jeremader) August 6, 2022
Verdict 2023: Though less versatile than the likes of Van Aert and Pedersen. He needs to be taken more seriously when he is on the startlist as he is often cheaper than the other sprinters.
At 33, the Frenchman has had one of the best season in recent times. Excellent puncheur, he confirmed it in La Fleche Wallonne (8th) and Liege-Bastogne-Liege (18th). He then continued with a 12th place at San Sebastian before finishing powerfully in the Italian classics. (8th in Emilia, 11th in Tre Valli Varesine and 8th again in Lombardia).
That is quite a palmares of classics results (1125pts) , except that he actually cost 14 credits!
Verdict 2023: It is highly probable that he will undergo a price drop. In the unlikely event that he is affordable to fill any gap in a puncheur race, there should be no second thoughts.
A rider that only cost 6 credits points but also brought only 681 points compared to the 1125 points brought by Molard.
He was having a really good Vuelta with several stage finish placings before abandoning following a crash in Stage 18. he did however finished with 637 points – 23rd best out of all riders. That was enough to give him a place as unclassed rider in the best possible team.
Best possible team for La Vuelta ciclista a España 2022:A 1: Remco EvenepoelA 2: Enric MasC 1: Miguel Ángel LópezC 2: Carlos RodriguezS: Mads PedersenU 1: Fred WrightU 2: Quentin PacherU 3: Jan PolancWC: Juan AyusoScore: 14210Cost: 100— Jeremad (@jeremader) September 11, 2022
Well at least the back does not seem to bother him much. 2022 has thankfully been kind to him as he seeks a return to form. His very fragile determination will again be on test as he seeks redemption. His performances in the Tour de France (769th- 17th best for 8 credits) and La Vuelta (460 points for 8 credits) should be considered s positive for the future.
Verdict 2023: He will enjoy having all the focus on David Gaudu. Should he find a way to believe in himself, the Tour de France 2023 parcours suits him perfectly as well!
Rated at 22 credits in the super-classico( total of 315 points all obtained through his 3rd place at Montreal), he obviously built himself up for the Tour de France.
Chosen by 9.9% of the Velogamers, he accumulated the 5th best total with 1442 points. He often made it to the best possible team in Velogame 2022.
Best possible @velogames team for Velogame2022:All Rounders: Tadej Pogačar, Jonas VingegaardClimbers: David Gaudu, Louis MeintjesSprinters: Wout Van Aert, Christophe Laporte (Wildcard)Unclassified: Tom Pidcock, Nathan Van Hooydonck, Benjamin Thomas14479 points, 100 credits— Calum Lonie 🇮🇪🇨🇵🇪🇺 (@CalumLonie) July 24, 2022