FDJ, one of the mainstays of professional French cycling, has announced a list of riders that they are currently developing and/or targeting for the future. Mainly they are French riders of varying levels of success but the one that was a bit interesting was Odd Christian Eiking. From the article on procycling.no, FDJ has their eyes on the Norwegian talent after his great performance in the Giro della Valle d'Aosta.
Eiking seems to be in the eyes of the Madiot brothers and FDJ trainer Fred Grappe, who has noted Eiking's high lactate threshold as a possible key to develop Eiking in a possible puncheur rider for the future and a rider that has a very balanced profile. Eiking, who CULT Energy tried unsuccessfully to sign this past off-season, is currently with Team Joker, who is turning out to be one of the best development teams in the world with alumni such as Edvald Boasson Hagen, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen and Kristoffer Skjerping.
Look for Eiking to sign a stagiaire ride with FDJ later this year. His numbers are going to be analyzed by FDJ trainers and they will probably be giving him training advice as well.
The Norwegian-French connection is fairly established with teams like Credit Agricole, Bretagne-Seche Environment and even FDJ when they signed Gabi Rasch.
The team is also looking at 8 other riders. 6 riders are in a program with the FDJ foundation including Elie Gesbert, Clément Barbeau, David Gaudu, Jules Roueil, Romain Seigle and Pierre Idjouadiene. Gesbert is a former French junior TT champ and Barbeau won the Bernaudeau Juniors in 2013. Seigle is a former MTB rider that was the European Junior champ in 2012 and has dabbled in cyclocross this past year.
The other two that are being watched by the team are Jeremy Maison and Damien Touze. Maison, who rides for CC Etupes, is a skinny climber type who was top 10 in l'Avenir that definitely could have a shot at top 5 this year. Touze is more of a classics type that is just coming into his first U23 year.
So transfer rumors already but always interesting to see what goes on in the transfer and development process. But if you believe Dom Rollin then FDJ is a team full of directors that are old racers just trying to stay in sport and are basically a shit show of a team.