Greatest hits – 5 memorable Lapierre stage wins at the Tour de France

With the next editions of the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes mere days away, we thought it was a great time to take a look back at what those competing on Lapierre bikes have achieved at the greatest spectacle our sport has to offer. We’ll be reminiscing about five of the greatest stage victories that riders from Groupama - FDJ and FDJ - Suez have taken as we begin to dial up the excitement for this years’ races.

Cecilie Uttrup-Ludwig – Stage 3 – Tour de France Femmes 2022

The inaugural edition of the Tour de France Femmes was always destined to be a major objective for Team FDJ – Suez as the host nation’s foremost Women’s WorldTour outfit. Leader Cecilie Uttrup-Ludwig was tipped by some to be an outside contender for the general classification, however, the emphatic Dane opted to go for stage wins following a testing start to proceedings.

Stage three of the race saw the peloton head from Binche to Épernay, with a wall-like climb into the centre of town serving as the day’s finale. Uttrup-Ludwig came to the foot of the climb alongside Kasia Newiadoma and yellow jersey Marianne Vos, hoping to out punch them both on the steepest pitches. With around 300m to go, Newiadoma attacked and took Vos with her. The latter looking likely to take the victory. Uttrup-Ludwig was having none of it however, charging past her rivals inside the closing metres to take the most prestigious win of her career.

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Thibaut Pinot – Stage 14 – Tour de France 2019

During one of the most impressive editions of the Tour de France for the home nation in recent memory, the 14th stage will forever remain an iconic day for French cycling. Once again racing for the general classification, Thibaut Pinot found himself inside the favourites group as the race headed onto the slopes of the legendary Col du Tourmalet.

As the group charged its way into the closing kilometre, Pinot launched a vicious attack and caught the remnants of the leaders’ group by surprise. Yellow jersey wearer Julian Alaphilippe attempted to bridge across, but found the brutal gradients too challenging. As he came around the final bend, Pinot had time to revel in his achievement and bask in the glory of a Pyrenean stage win.

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Arnaud Démare – Stage 18 – Tour de France 2018

Following a gruelling few days in the Alps, the peloton of the 2018 edition was in tatters. Many of the world’s top sprinters had been forced to abandon on the highest slopes in the race, leaving Groupama – FDJ as the strongest sprint team still in contention. The team allowed a small breakaway up the road, keeping them on a leash throughout the day in order to catch them inside the closing 20 kilometres.

As the sprint approached, Peter Sagan came to the front and looked strong in green. It wasn’t to be for the Slovakian however, as Démare launched a powerful sprint with around 200m to go, striding away from the rest to claim the only Tour de France stage win of his career. The Frenchman let out a roar as he immortalised himself as one of the finest French sprinters of all time.

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Thibaut Pinot – Stage 20 - Tour de France 2015

There are few days that can be considered more iconic than when the Tour de France visits Alpe d’Huez, one of the true legends of the race. In 2015 the climb looked set to be the location of the final battle for the yellow jersey that Thibaut Pinot had initially been targeting.

After falling out of contention, the ever-popular climber joined the breakaway on stage 20 in the hope of pulling off a famous victory.

With less than 7km to go, Pinot dropped his breakaway companions and made his last stand against a charging group of favourites. It looked set to be heartbreak as Colombia’s Nairo Quintana bore down on the Frenchman, but Pinot dug in and managed to hang on by 18 seconds to take the win.

You only need to look at the joy on Thibaut’s brother Julien’s face to see what the win meant:

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Pierrick Fedrigo – Stage 15- Tour de France 2012

The winner of four Tour stages over the course of his career, Pierrick Fedrigo’s final triumph came at the 2012 edition. Following a difficult 2011 campaign in which the breakaway specialist suffered from Lyme disease, he bounced back to claim the win in Pau.

Fedrigo joined a strong four-man move after a series of attacks spanning nearly 60km of racing. Once the group had formed the four escapees were let loose by the peloton and were never seen again.

As they came under the 10km to go banner the attacks began to fly. Fedrigo used his rivals’ moves to counter-attack and leave them all in his wake. The Frenchman subsequently rode solo into Pau to take a superb solo victory.

Groupama – FDJ and FDJ – Suez will be lining up for the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes, each targeting success on board the latest Lapierre Xelius and Aircode models, with the Xelius born for the high cols of the Alps and Pyrenees, and the aerodynamic Aircode excelling in sprints and on flatland days.

The men’s race takes place from 1 July – 23 July and the women get stuck in between 23 July – 30 July.

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