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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Francaise des Jeux
TEAM PROFILE
Bradley McGee
Country: France
Manager: Marc Madiot
Team leader: Jean-Cyril Robin
Best Tour: 1999 - aggressive throughout and 14th place for Stephane Heulot
The team may have only finished 11th overall in the team standings last time around but Francaise des Jeux did their utmost to light up the race at various stages.

Bradley McGee's victory on stage seven, when he stunned the world's best sprinters by breaking away with only a few hundred metres remaining, was one of the highlights of the 2002 event.

McGee's best bet this time around is a similar stage win, but his histrionics were not the only highlights of 12 months ago.

Jacky Durand, at 36, may now be too old to repeat his gargantuan efforts of 2002.

The fiery Frenchman was one of the most aggressive riders throughout the last Tour, continually breaking away from the peloton and wowing the partisan crowd before eventually being reeled in on the latter stages.

Aside from Durand, many of the team's cyclists have yet to reach their peak as riders.

Apart from McGee, arguably the most impressive is Nicolas Vogondy, who was 19th overall in last year's Tour and runner-up in the young rider competition.

Whether he can match or improve that remains to be seen but team manager Marc Madiot and the French public are adamant he has the ability.

The team have climbed steadily up the ranks since being granted a wildcard in the 2001 race.

In that year they struggled, Daniel Schinder their highest-placed rider in 66th overall and two hours behind then winner Lance Armstrong.

The team have another experienced rider in Jean-Cyril Robin to lend his expertise to the rest of the riders.

But, at 33, his best Tour is probably now behind him.

Jimmy Casper looks another strong bet to sneak a stage win.

FDJ are still trying to find their feet as a major force since making their debut in the sport back in 1997.

In that year they won the Paris-Roubaix and fared well in the Tour before it all fell apart as their attentions turned to a new team leader in Evgeny Berzin.

He had looked an impressive cyclist when he powered to victory in the Giro d'Italia back in 1994.





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