"Life and cycling do not stop at the Tour de France" - Marc Madiot understands Lenny Martinez's choice to avoid added pressures of home Grand Tour

The sparkling star in the Groupama - FDJ team in 2024, Lenny Martinez will not be present at the Tour de France next month as the 20-year-old again opts instead to target the Vuelta a Espana.

In total, Groupama - FDJ have 9 wins to their name so far this year with Martinez accounting for five of them, most recently on Wednesday when he secured the victory at the Mercan'Tour Classic. "It's always interesting and nice to win races. They are all good to take, at any time of the season," team boss Marc Madiot says in conversation with Cyclism'Actu. “He masters mountain races well, he is in his element. He has confidence, self-confidence, the team was there to prepare the ground for him, and he masterfully concluded the situation."

As mentioned, Martinez is again avoiding the added pressures of being arguably the biggest hope of French Grand Tour cycling at the Tour de France, opting instead to return to the Vuelta a Espana, where he wore the Red Jersey for two days in 2023 before eventually ending up 24th in the general classification on his Grand Tour debut.

"We predefined a program in the off-season and we stick to this program. There are other great events that we can compete with him, life and cycling do not stop at the Tour de France, even if it remains the peak of the season and especially for a French team," Madiot explains. "He will participate in the Tour de Suisse, he will also do the Vuelta a Espana, so there is no particular frustration."

Whether Martinez's long-term future remains with Groupama - FDJ though is more unclear. According to reports, Bahrain - Victorious are leading the race for the prodigious talent but according to Madiot, nothing is signed as of yet. “We have the right not to say anything. Am I in contact with him? Yes, because he is in our team, there is a relationship that is established,” he answers on the rumours bluntly.

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