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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
FDJeux.com
TEAM PROFILE
Bradley McGee
Country: France
Manager: Marc Madiot
Best Tour: 1999 - aggressive throughout and 14th place for Stephane Heulot
Last year the team were nowhere to be seen in the general classification but were still in the headlines.

They took the race by storm on day one when Bradley McGee found himself the surprise man in yellow following a stunning prologue in Paris.

McGee's lead was shortlived, however, but hardly to the detriment of the rest of his team.

He was not the only Australian to steal the headlines in the team, as Baden Cooke came into his own in the sprints.

A winner on stage two, he went on to oust all competition for the green jersey on the Champs Elysees.

This time around the team will be doing their utmost to defend Cooke's green jersey but they now, in McGee, have a potential future Tour winner.

The Australian, in his first major Tour as a team leader, was eighth overall in May's Giro d'Italia and stunned many with the ease in which he stayed with the climbers on some of the toughest ascents.

He eventually finished six minutes off the pace of race winner Damiano Cunego but at least lived up to his earlier promise of being a big Tours contender.

The 2003 race was not the first time the team had lit up the Tour de France, McGee stealing the sneakiest of race wins by breaking away to his own personal victory in 2002.

Apart from McGee, arguably the most impressive rider in the GC is Nicolas Vogondy, who was 19th overall in 2002'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 but are still a little way off the pace of the front-runners.

FDJ are still trying to find their feet as a major force since making their debut in the sport back in 1997 when they won the Paris-Roubaix and fared well in the Tour.

But it all fell apart as their attentions turned to a new team leader in Evgeny Berzin. Since then, they've bounced back.





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