Armée de terre (cycling team)
Armée de terre, officially Équipe cycliste Armée de terre, (UCI team code: ADT) was a French UCI Continental cycling team. It was sponsored by the French Army and all the cyclists were professional soldiers. After competing with success in the French amateur structure, the team was registered as a Continental-level team from the beginning of the 2015 road cycling season until its disbandment at the end of the 2017 season.
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Armée de terre
The team was founded in 2010 by David Lima Da-Costa following a long history of the French Army supporting soldiers in their cycling careers, with the team's first season of racing being the 2012 cycling season. It was founded with the intention of aiding in the Army's recruitment efforts. The team offered unusual benefits to its riders, such as a potential career in the Army, accommodation and training facilities rarely provided by a domestic team. The team received approximately 40 applications from riders wishing to join it for its first season, which included top-level amateurs and some professional riders. The hiring process was made more complicated by the requirement to enlist the riders as soldiers.
The team had a budget that would have supported a Continental team, but the management initially chose to set the team up to compete in the French domestic championship, the Division Nationale. In the team's first season, it finished fourth in the second division of the Division Nationale and was promoted to the first division for the 2012 season. After 22 victories in 2012, the team finished a close second in the 2013 Coupe de France Division Nationale 1, finishing behind Vendée U despite leading for three quarters of the season. The team went on to dominate the 2014 domestic racing season in France, winning 61 races as they won the amateur Coupe de France.
Having received continued support from the military leadership for another four years, the team began exploring promotion to become a UCI Continental team, with support from civilian sponsors. The success of this application was announced in December 2014, with the team finding out through a leak to the press. This promotion was complicated by the rules about French cyclists. Riders on UCI Continental teams are not considered professionals by the UCI, but the rules of French cycling mandate professional contracts for them. Since the riders on Armée de terre are soldiers rather than professional cyclists, a special exception had to be made to allow the team to compete. The team retained several of its riders from the 2014 season into the international ranks, including French under-23 champion Yann Guyot. The riders continued to live in the team's base, two to each room; if a race did not provide accommodation to the riders, they stayed in the nearest military barracks. Each rider did military training in the two months of the off-season, learning a military specialism as well as training as a cyclist.
The team's jersey in this as in previous years is a camouflage design promoting the team's military foundation. The team's bicycles, provided by Mario Cipollini's company, are also decorated with a camouflage pattern.
The team made its debut at this level in the 2.1-ranked Étoile de Bessèges. They then rode the 2015 Tour du Haut Var, where Quentin Pacher finished fifteenth overall and won the white jersey for the best young rider. The following weekend, the team achieved top 10 results in two French races: eighth place in the Classic Sud-Ardèche for Romain Combaud and seventh in the La Drôme Classic for Yann Guyot, who was the leading group behind the race winner, Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale).
Riders' military ranksEdit
As the members of the Armée de terre team were all soldiers as well as cyclists, they all had military ranks. Most of them were graded as soldat de deuxième classe, the lowest rank in the French Army. Barbas, Le Roux and Levasseur were soldats de première classe, the next highest rank; Combaud and Guyot were caporaux, while Sinner held the equivalent rank of brigadier; Canal was a caporal-chef. The highest-ranked rider was Julien Gonnet, who was a sergent-chef.
- Stage 4 Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour, Yannis Yssaad
- Stage 6 Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste trophée harmonie Mutuelle, Thomas Rostollan
- Stage 4 Tour de Normandie, Benoit Sinner
- Paris–Troyes, Yannis Yssaad
- Stage 6 Tour de Normandie, Damien Gaudin
- Tour du Finistère, Julien Loubet
- Tro-Bro Léon, Damien Gaudin
- Stage 4 Tour de Bretagne, Damien Gaudin
- Paris–Mantes-en-Yvelines, Fabien Canal
- Stage 3 Four Days of Dunkirk, Benjamin Thomas
- Overall Paris–Arras Tour, Jordan Levasseur
- Stage 3, Jordan Levasseur
- Stage 6 An Post Rás, Yannis Yssaad
- Prologue Tour de Luxembourg, Damien Gaudin
- Stage 2 Ronde de l'Oise, Yannis Yssaad
- Stage 4 Ronde de l'Oise, Jordan Levasseur
- Stage 1 Route du Sud, Julien Loubet
- Stages 1 & 3a Trofeu Joaquim Agostinho, Yannis Yssaad
- Stage 1 Tour de Wallonie, Benjamin Thomas
- Prologue Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta, Damien Gaudin
- Stage 3 Volta a Portugal, Bryan Alaphilippe
- "EQUIPE CYCLISTE DE L'ARMEE DE TERRE (ADT) - FRA". uci.ch. Union Cycliste Internationale. Archived from the original on 27 February 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Attention, l'Armée de terre débarque !". cyclismag.com (in French). 4 August 2010. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "L'actu amateur du 14 novembre". velo101 (in French). 14 November 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "ARMEE DE TERRE - Equipe". DirectVelo.com. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Armee de terre : " Il y a toujours ce regret "". DirectVelo (in French). 21 September 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "COUPE DE FRANCE LOOK DES CLUBS 2014" (PDF). cyclisme-poitou-charentes.fr. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
- Pruneta, Laurent (13 August 2014). "David Lima Da Costa : " Notre projet d'équipe professionnelle avance "". leparisien.fr (in French). Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Armée de terre — Interview de David Lima Da Costa". Velo101 (in French). 16 December 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- L'Azou, Mathilde (28 January 2015). "L'Armée de terre : l'équipe où les cyclistes sont avant tout des soldats". France TV Sport (in French). Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Pruneta, Laurent (10 January 2015). "CYCLISME: Auber 93 et l'Armée de terre dévoilent leurs maillots". Le Parisien (in French). Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Tour Cycliste International du Haut Var-matin 2015 -". ProCyclingStats. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Tour Cycliste International du Haut Var-matin 2015 - Youth classification". ProCyclingStats. Retrieved 27 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Classic Sud Ardèche - Souvenir Francis Delpech 2015 - Classic". ProCyclingStats. Retrieved 6 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Yann Guyot : " J'ai couru pour gagner "". Direct Velo. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Yann Guyot revient dans le jeu". DirectVelo. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Les coureurs - Equipe cycliste de l'Armée de terre". equipearmeedeterre.fr. Archived from the original on 1 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)