Last June, when told of his non-selection for the Tour de France by Groupama-FDJ for a second straight edition, Démare said he had been “angry and disheartened.” Earlier in the same month, Démare said he had been given to understand he would no longer form part of the team in 2024. Released from his contract, he left Groupama-FDJ for Arkéa-Samsic, now Arkea-B&B Hotels, on August 1 last year.
In an interview with the France3 TV channel, the 32-year-old pulled no punches in his criticisms concerning his former team, saying, “My feelings of anger are still present, also my incomprehension. I’ve always been a pro, I’ve always valued the team. I felt betrayed and not recognised for everything I may have contributed.”
Cyclingnews reached out to Groupama-FDJ team manager Marc Madiot for a reaction to Démare’s criticisms, with Madiot saying he did not wish to comment, but he still viewed Démare as a “great rider” and that he wished things had worked out differently.
Since turning pro in 2012 Démare had spent his entire career with Groupama-FDJ, with 93 of his 95 career wins to date including two stages in the Tour de France and eight stages of the Giro d’Italia as well as Milan-San Remo and Paris-Tours.
About to start his first full season with Arkéa-B&B Hotels at the Mallorca Challenge series, Démare insisted in the France3 interview that he wanted to show what he could achieve because “despite my 95 wins I need to prove who I am.”
The 32-year-old added he had nothing to say to his former team manager Marc Madiot. Madiot has said in the past that he was willing to talk things through with his former team’s co-leader and try to put any differences behind them as well as expressing his continued admiration for Démare.
“Politically, it makes sense for him to say that,” Démare told France3. “But no, I don’t have anything to say to Marc.”
Démare had nothing but praise for his current manager, Emmanuel Hubert and the new relationship he was building with the Arkea-B&B Hotels team.
“In 12 years [at Groupama-FDJ], no-one ever said ‘Bravo’ for everything I’d done. The first thing that Emanuel Hubert said to me was that. I feel that they are proud of me and I want to pay that back.”
Asked by Cyclingnews about Démare’s points, Madiot said…