Where do the French riders live?

French pro map

Above is a map of France. Look closely and you’ll see coloured dots marking where riders from each of the four main French cycling teams are from. I’d been wondering if the teams had any regional bias towards signing riders and finally got round to charting where the riders are all from.

Bbox, now Europcar, is from a structure based in the Vendée region and you’ll see many green dots around this area, that is to be expected but it’s interesting to note just how many of the riders live within a small area. By contrast Ag2r-La Mondiale has a history of being based in the Alps, and has a feeder amateur team in the region, but it doesn’t have that many riders from the region.

One other remark is just how empty the map is, France is a large countries and whole regions don’t have a local pro. Apologies to Saur-Sojasun for leaving them out (they mainly come from Brittany and the Alps) and the same for the more obvious Bretagne-Schuller. But I suspect that even with the addition of these riders the map would still be blank.

The map isn’t exhaustive or forensically precise but I’ve tried to give an accurate demonstration. Riders living abroad are obviously excluded and there are a few cases where I don’t know where the riders are based so the total of dots doesn’t add up to the total number of riders.

The story will be similar in Italy, with Liquigas tending to recruit riders from the north east of the country, Lampre from around the Milan and Lombardia area and ISD having a more Tuscan feel.

8 thoughts on “Where do the French riders live?”

  1. ironically the three frame builders company for fdj cofidis and saur sojasun are located on the empty section of the map .excuse me for my english i m french and i just discovered your blog .Great job .
    Yves from Brest , France

  2. Interesting. Is that where the riders actually live, or where they're from? At least in Italy, people are quite attached to where they're from, even if that's not where they reside. Also, it's surprising to see so many riders around Paris – sure it's a populous region, but doesn't seem like that great a place for cycling compared to some of the other places France has on offer.

  3. One rider based in the entire Massif Central? Given the terrain it should produce way more riders. Historically it used to produce them I think, but when was the last big french name from the region?

  4. what do you think this suggests?

    Are Fr teams too parochial or inward looking?
    Is this a reason Fr has failed to produce a champion in recent years, or are there deeper reasons for that failure?

  5. Not to mention Corsica, one of France's best cycling destinations, which didn't even make the map.
    I wonder when the last Corse pro graced the tour…

  6. David, yes people often stay near their family home. But some have moved, especially those in the north in order to get better weather. I've marked where they live.

    Alex: yes, it's Cofidis's Damien Monnier, a stage winner in the Giro last year. Each region has its ups and downs but from memory I can't think of a recent champion.

    DB: see the comment from anonymous below, the distribution tends to reflect where people live in France. The more people live in a place, the more you are likely to find a pro rider.

    Ev: not sure about the last Corsican pro in the Tour. Perhaps Dominique Bozzi, who rode in the 1990s with the French teams.

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