Rollin dumps on FDJ
Dominique Rollin sure put the knife into his old coaches at FDJ now that he has signed with Cofidis.
Rollin claimed that in his three years at FDJ there was never much of a plan for a race. The team would just show up, unfocused, not particular objective in mind.
The highlights include this incendiary gem: “Some of the management, they’re just lingering around. They’re just former cyclists who want to be around races and it’s deceiving and it’s sad to see that they’ve not stepped off the bike. They’re still there and if they could wear the helmets in the car they would. They’d pin on numbers to the back of their t-shirts and drive the car. It’s sad to see and that’s what’s slowing down certain teams.”
What sticks out from these quotes, besides Rollin’s happiness to be finished with FDJ, is that they contradict what team boss Marc Madiot has been saying recently about his squad. He claims they have a real shot at winning the Tour de France in the next five years.
If you put any credence in what Rollin has to say about FDJ’s management and coaching style, you begin to doubt they have the infrastructure to help deliver star rider Thibaut Pinot to Paris wearing le maillot jaune.
French teams in general have a laissez-faire attitude to modern training techniques and sports science. They scoff at those guys at Sky with their power meters and performance metrics and predictive algorithms.
Madiot is always an entertaining guy but while he sounded optimistic about FDJ’s Tour chances, we didn’t think he spoke like a man who was going to make things happen. He’s too French for an aggressive win-at-all-costs plan like Sky’s Brailsford or Bjarne Riis at Tinkoff-Saxo.
He didn’t set any strong battle plan other than to say it was possible in five years. “Now we have the potential. This can be done in the next four to five years, if we continue to progress and if fate is in our favor,” madiot told L’Equipe.
You mix that ‘maybe if we’re lucky” attitude with Rollin’s revealing assessment of FDJ’s coaching staff and we’re thinking Pinot can forget ever standing on the top step, having somehow beaten Froome, Contador and Quintana.
Ask Rollin if Pinot ever wins the Tour riding for FDJ and he’s probably start laughing.