« This first gathering, it’s like an early Christmas for the riders as they get to try their 2017 equipment for the first time, » says Greg Guesdon, team mechanic. The Fortuneo Vital Concept Team laid the groundwork for the upcoming season this week in the suburbs of Rennes, close to the team headquarters. « This meeting is not only the moment to integrate the new riders, but also to establish everybody’s race calendar, » says Emmanuel Hubert, team manager. Only Francis Mourey, currently focused on his cyclocross season, and Eduardo Sepulveda (still in his native Argentina) were absent.
For the record, the Belgian Gianni Meersman, double stage winner in the 2016 Vuelta, and also Arnold Jeannesson (14th in the 2011 Tour de France) have strengthened the crew in the pre-season.
As of next month, the professional team will head to Spain for its first training session on the bike before the scheduled season start in late January.