"Together we form the sprint train" - Bram Welten takes up main leadout role for Arnaud Démare following many departures

The leadout train is one of the most important aspects of sprinting in pro cycling, and over the last few years Groupama - FDJ has built a big and steady block around Arnaud Démare. That however, has been dismantled this winter, and Dutchman Bram Welten is picking up the opportunity to become the Frenchman's right-hand man.

Over the past few seasons Démare, a stage winner at the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Milano-Sanremo and many other races has had a designated block that followed him throughout the season - perhaps more than any other team. That had the main parts of Jacopo Guarnieri and Ramon Sinkeldam, who are leaving towards Lotto Soudal and (if it goes according to plan) B&B Hotels-KTM respectively.

Although the French team has signed several under-23 riders who they hope to fill this role in the future, no major signing has been done by Groupama. Bram Welten was signed this season as a secondary sprinter, and he's stepping in as Démare's main leadout man in 2023, alongside Miles Scotson.

“Ninety percent of the races next season I will ride together with Miles Scotson and Arnaud," Welten revealed in an interview with Wielerflits. "Together we form the sprint train. I will therefore also make my debut in a Grand Tour in 2023. That was already foreseen in the last Vuelta a España, but Arnaud didn't start there at the last minute and that's why we did the Tour de Pologne together. I am really looking forward to a Grand Tour. If I have the choice, I think the Tour de France is very beautiful.”

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