As the only French representative on the World Tour, the Poitiers-based team is competing in its 17th season. It is a family story at its origin. To give his daughter, Emmanuelle Merlot, the 2002 French cadet champion, an opportunity to pursue a career in elite cycling, Gatien Merlot, a businessman, and Serge Gautreau enlisted the help of the Vienne department and the Futuroscope park to finance the creation of a team bringing together the best French women. At the time, a structure of this kind did not exist in the country. This team was created in 2006 and quickly excelled with Marina Jaunâtre (7th at the 2007 World Championships) and Carina Gauthard (2006 French U23 time trial champion).
In 2014, the arrival of the Poitou-Charentes region (which later became Nouvelle-Aquitaine after the merger of the regions) enabled the team to double its budget. But the major turning point came in 2017 with the reinforcement of FDJ, the long-standing sponsor of Marc Madiot's men's team. Since then, the team has changed dimensions and recruited young international riders such as Denmark's Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (2nd in the Course by le Tour de France last year) and Italy's Marta Cavalli, winner of the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Wallonne this spring. The team is now among the best in the world. And should continue to grow with the arrival of Suez as a new co-sponsor on 15 July. The operation remains a family affair. Emmanuelle Merlot is president, and her husband, Stephen Delcourt, has been the manager since 2008.
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2: The UCI ranking of the FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope team at the beginning of the summer, trailing only Team SD Worx.
4: Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig's best place in the Giro d'Italia Donne (2020). The Danish champion, leader of the team for the general classification, will aim for the podium in the 1st edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
12: The number of French road championship titles accumulated by the Poitevin-based team since its creation, including eight in the U23 category and four in the elite category. The latter were won by the current director of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift Marion Rousse (2012), then by Charlotte Bravard (2017), Jade Wiel (2019) and Évita Muzic (2021).