Bikes of the UCI WorldTour: Lapierre Xelius of FDJ-BigMat

No.10 out of 18 in our cut-out-and-keep guide to the racing bikes used by the world's top professionals in 2012

by nick_rearden   January 10, 2012  

This year the team that used to be called Française des Jeux for the French National Lottery that sponsors it steps back up to WorldTour status which is good news for French bike company Lapierre that has also been a long-standing supporter.

This year there is also a new co-sponsor in BigMat, a Euro building supplies company that has enjoyed a long relationship with French cycle sport in general and in particular with Marc Madiot, the man that runs the team and who is himself a former professional cyclist who won Paris-Roubaix and multiple Grand Tour stages in his eighties heyday.

The Lapierre Xelius carbon frame upon which hang Shimano Dura-Ace components is competitively light at around 850 grams for a middle-size and as this latest version with BB30 and tapered headtube is still quite new having only been introduced during 2011, there's every chance it will see the team through the 2012 season. If there are any big changes, it will likely be to the Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain which is due to jump up to 11-speed soon in time for the 2013 consumer model year.

And talking of consumers - that's us - and towards being able to replicate our own Lapierre team bike we looked on the Lapierre W-Series website which was one of the first to offer a build-a-bike option where you can have the resultant customised machine delivered to your door. Or at least to your nearest Lapierre dealership where they will set it up for you. Using the same Dura-Ace Di2 components as the FDJ team and Mavic R-Sys wheels with 3T finishing kit we managed just over £5k for ours. There's nothing like buying virtual team bikes, we find.

3 user comments

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It's a good looking bike . . . might not get many wins in big races though

posted by Spofferoonie [17 posts]
11th January 2012 - 10:06

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Spofferoonie wrote:
It's a good looking bike . . . might not get many wins in big races though

True, but the role of FDJ seems to be that of France's plucky soul. They may not win many Monuments and Grand Tours but they'll win tons of races like their equivalent of the Lincoln Grand Prix and at the big events they'll be in all the attacks and if if one of their young riders breaks through they could get a stage win. ie loads of coverage which is what the sponsors want. I wouldn't begin to speculate the difference in their budget from Radioshack-Nissan but for me part of the pleasure of watching pro cycling is seeing how well the triers like Frédéric Guesdon do. As we've seen over the years with FDJ, he's had his moments and probably given as much pleasure to cycling fans - especially if you're French - as the more up-and-down and ultimately disappointing ones. Richard Virenque, anyone?

posted by nick_rearden [858 posts]
11th January 2012 - 10:50

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I might have to buy another jersey with BigMat written on it, then.

posted by Mat Brett [1714 posts]
11th January 2012 - 11:43

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