The Direct Energie racing team is a distinctly French outfit with quite a colourful history. Will their experience help them win Tour de France 2018? What are their odds and who will lead the team this July? We’ll answer everything shortly.
The origins of Direct Energie go back to the 1980s. Today, it’s one of the UCI Continental Teams, which means they don’t get to qualify automatically. They had to prove their worth to get invited to Tour de France 2018 first.
Let’s see if this position will help them or vice versa.
Will Direct Energie Win Tour de France?
Unfortunately, we can’t give a positive answer to this question. Direct Energie is simply too weak of a team to compete with the favourites this year.
This isn’t surprising from a team that is part of UCI World Teams. However, getting into Tour de France is a sign of skill and ability in its own right. The problem is that there isn’t that much of it in this team.
But what are their odds then? How will they perform if they won’t win? Let’s answer this in greater detail, as we’re sure you want all the reasons for our prediction.
Direct Energie Team Prediction
Direct Energie haven’t achieved much at all in major tours recently. Their other wins are relatively few as well. Even if they did win more than usual in the last few years, it isn’t likely this year either.
The reason for this is that more than one capable rider has joined another team since. Today, their roster is full of professionals, but that means little. They simply don’t stand out from the crowd. Especially not the crowd of Tour de France.
With Lillian Calmejane as their top rider, Direct Energie will probably aim to finish the race. As for the actual position, the top spots are probably not in their plans.
The lack of powerful domestique riders and specialists is a concerning one. Perhaps this is why the team took so much time to round up their squad.
Direct Energie Best Riders 2018
All but one of the current Direct Energie roster is French. Estonian Rein Taaramae is the only rider of a different nationality.
Not all of their participants are known yet. What we do know is that three following riders will definitely compete. They are:
- Lilian Calmejane
- Sylvain Chavanel
- Rein Taaramae
Their achievements include several continental race and other second-tier race wins. In major tours, they have won several stages too.
Chavanel has achieved the most in the past. He won the combativity award twice in Tour de France 2008 and 2010. Despite that, their individual odds this year aren’t particularly high.
Betting on Calmejane to win Tour de France would yield up to 1,500x your bet!
Tour De France 2018 Direct Energie
Since 2009, Direct Energie are not in the elite status of UCI World Tour. That’s why they can only compete in UCI World Tour events through wild card invitation.
While 2011 was their best season yet, they didn’t enjoy much success since. After that, they barely even participated in the major races as well.
But while they had missed quite a few races before, it’s not the case this year. This will be their third consecutive Tour de France since 2016. The team seems to be on the rise again, even though it’s barely noticeable.
That’s why you should turn a blind eye on them when you’re visiting sports betting sites. It’s teams like this that sometimes ruin the gamblers who are too confident.
Direct Energie France History
The first Direct Energie formulation was called System U and was formed in 1984. Things didn’t begin well for the team, and System U was disbanded just a year later.
However, things took a turn in 1986. That’s when Cyrille Guimard became the sports director of the team. Guimard brought Laurent Fignon to the System U team. Fignon then very nearly won the Tour De France in 1989.
The racing team went through a lot of changes during the 1990s. There were changes of sponsors, directors and managers. The team officially withdrew from top-level competition from 1996-1999. During this period, a development team was set up in the Vendee.
In 2000 the team was back in top-level competition and was rather aptly named as Bonjour. This remained the case for two years, before another name change to Brioches La Boulangere.
This was the period in which the team began to become a name in the cycling world. They had a number of quality young cyclists under their wing during this time. A few examples are:
- Sylvain Chavanel
- Thomas Voeckler
- Fabrice Salanson
Thomas Voeckler was a star in the French cycling world in the mid-noughties. He even became a French national hero during this time while riding for Direct Energie’s predecessor team.
He was a very strong performer in the Tour De France for many years. In the 2004 Tour De France, he wore the yellow jersey for 10 stages which cemented his place in French cycling folklore.
In 2011, this team enjoyed their best ever season. Thomas Voeckler was in great form and enjoyed eight spring victories. Then he held the yellow jersey for 10 stages at Tour De France in a fantastic performance. Christophe Kern achieved a lot in time trial championships too.
Direct Energie is a team that has been out of luck for years. But even if they seem to be getting better, we don’t expect much from them in 2018.