After a successful 2022 campaign and a very good start to the new season, FDJ-SUEZ are setting a high bar for 2023. At a team press conference in early February, the team laid out its plans for 2023, hoping to challenge for victory across the calendar in both classics and Grand Tours.
“We are really ambitious for the season, our 18th season in the peloton. We want to start every race with the ambition to win,” said team manager Stephen Delcourt.
2022 was the most successful season in the history of FDJ-SUEZ as Marta Cavalli won Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne and finished second overall in the Giro d’Italia Donne.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won stage 3 of the Tour de France Femmes before going on to win the Norefjell mountain-top finish and the GC of the Tour of Scandinavia. Clara Copponi and Grace Brown added stage wins in the Women’s Tour, Brown missing overall victory by just one second. The Australian later won a stage of the Vuelta Challenge and a silver medal in the time trial at the World Championships.
“We have stability on the team with only two new riders, Gladys Verhulst and Loes Adegeest. In November, we decided that we needed to start really fast and win early to continue the positive attitude after 2022,” Delcourt set out the team’s ambitious goals.
“Our goal was to win one race in Australia, we won four times, so I think we are on a good way. We target Strade Bianche, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, and then the three Ardennes races and the three Grand Tours.”
After the Australian campaign where Grace Brown won the time trial title at the Australian Championships as well as a stage and the GC of the Women’s Tour Down Under before new-signing Adegeest won the Cadel Road Race Women, the UAE Tour Women brought a reality check as Marta Cavalli was dropped in the echelons and played no role in the general classification.
In 2022, Cavalli crashed out of the Tour de France Femmes on stage 2, suffering a concussion, but said that she had recovered fully from that injury.
“It was a bad crash, but I was able to recover 100%. We agreed not to push for a comeback to racing as soon as possible. That was the right decision because I could recover physically but also mentally. When I restarted this winter, we knew everything was okay. Maybe I restart a little bit low in fitness,” she said.
“I am not stressed because I know I will find a good feeling in the first races. Last year we set a really high target, and now we would like to,…
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