21 things you didn't know about David Gaudu


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Nov 04, 2023

21 things you didn't know about David Gaudu

The Frenchman has a Siberian husky and is an avid trail runner David Gaudu is in

The Frenchman has a Siberian husky and is an avid trail runner

David Gaudu is in the vanguard of the current wave of French riders.

A climber by trade, the 26-year-old has ridden for one team throughout his entire professional career, Groupama-FDJ, wearing the squad's tricolour jersey to stage victories at the Vuelta a España and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

In 2022, the Frenchman claimed an impressive career-best finish at the Tour de France, placing fourth, and will go into this year's edition with the hopes of a nation on his shoulders. Could he be the first French rider to win since 1985?

Ahead of the race, here are 21 things you probably didn't know about Gaudu.

1. Gaudu was born in Landivisiau, in the French cycling heartlands of Brittany. He is part of a long line of Breton riders, which includes five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault, three-time winner Louison Bobet and 2017 polka dot jersey winner Warren Barguil.

2. He was a very active child. "I was a real pain in the ass," he once said in an interview. "I was always up to no good at home. I used to run around everywhere. I was almost always injured. I'd run into doors and have to go to A&E."

3. His father was a tiler and a keen mountain biker.

4. Gaudu joined his first cycling club, la Landivisienne Cycliste, when he was just 6 years old.

5. His childhood rival was Valentin Madouas, who he started racing against when he was nine. The duo are now teammates at Groupama-FDJ.

6. In 2013, he was forced to withdraw from the Classique des Alpes Juniors when an errant cat ran out between his wheels on a descent. The Frenchman was leading the race at the time, but crashed heavily and abandoned.

7. Gaudu has an impressive VO2max, meaning he can consume oxygen at a high rate. When he was 18 years old, he scored a result of 92ml/min/kg, putting him in the top tier of Grand Tour riders. "I have never seen anything like it," his Groupama-FDJ sports director Frédéric Grappe said.

8. He won the Tour de l'Avenir in 2016. The event is considered the most prestigious under-23 stage race on the calendar, with winners including Tour de France champions Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogačar.

9. Also in 2016, Gaudu won the Course de la Paix and was awarded the coveted Vélo d'Or prize for the best under-23 rider.

10. He took his first professional victory at the 2017 Tour de l'Ain, aged 20. Having broken away with teammate Thibaut Pinot, the duo rode in tandem to the line, where Pinot gifted Gaudu the win.

11. Two years later, Gaudu was Pinot's key mountain domestique at the 2019 Tour de France, setting a wicked pace for his compatriot to win on the Col du Tourmalet on stage 14.

Gaudu guides Pinot up the Col du Tourmalet at the 2019 Tour de France.

12. He has finished on the podium of a Monument once, placing third at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2021, behind Julian Alaphilippe and the winner Pogačar.

13. Gaudu wears glasses in everyday life, and uses prescription lenses in his cycling sunglasses, provided by the team sponsor Julbo.

14. He is a keen streamer, and live broadcasts himself talking and playing cycling video games on Twitch and Discord.

15. After the 2022 Tour de France, Gaudu streamed an almost three-hour-long debrief on Twitch, talking through the stages and offering his insights, all the while sat in his gaming chair.

16. He was involved in a controversy on the streaming site Discord in January 2023, when he criticised his teammate Arnaud Démare in a series of text-based messages with fans. "I don't want him to come to the Tour," Gaudu wrote. "The good thing is we don't speak and we almost never race together." He later apologised for his remarks.

17. He has a dog - a female Siberian husky called Houna - who has different coloured eyes, one blue and one brown.

A post shared by @david_gaudu

A photo posted by on

18. The Frenchman enjoys trail running and finished fifth in a 34km race in December 2022, completing the Menestrail course in Moncontour, France in 2 hours, 56 minutes and 58 seconds.

19. He is an Olympian, and represented France in the men's road race at the Tokyo Games in 2021. He finished seventh.

20. After the 2020 UAE Tour was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Gaudu and his Groupama-FDJ team were one of three squads forced to remain in quarantine in their hotel in Abu Dhabi. They ended up confined for around 10 days.

21. He has a higher education diploma in accounting and business management.

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Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders.

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides.

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.

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