Antoine Duchesne will be joining French WorldTour team FDJ for the 2018 season. Earlier this year it was announced he would not be returning to the line-up of Direct Energie. The announcement that he will move up to the WorldTour follows weeks of uncertainty about the 26-year-old’s future.
— Equipe FDJ (@EquipeFDJ) September 26, 2017
Duchesne will play an important role during the spring classics with the French team where he will support French national champion Arnaud Démare. He will also be riding one of the Grand Tours, potentially the Tour de France, if everything goes as plan during the first part of the season according to La Presse.
Duchesne joined Direct Energie in 2014. During his time with the French UCI pro continental team, he rode the Vuelta a Espana in 2015, he became the second Quebecer to finish the Tour de France in 2016 and he brought home the polka dot jersey at Paris-Nice that same year.
According to La Presse, Duchesne’s departure from Direct Energie was bitter. Duchesne hired Belgium agents earlier this year to see whether there were other professional opportunities worth pursuing. This displeased his Direct Energie manager who informed Duchesne he would not be returning to the team in 2018.
The uncertainly surrounding the future of WorldTour team Cannondale-Drapac complicated his search but after the team secured backing for 2018 and beyond, Duchesne was approached by two teams.
The Rio Olympian who represented Canada at the 2017 world championships in Bergen was able to find a place on the FDJ squad for the coming year. Before riding for Direct Energie, Duchesne developed with the Bontrager Development Team (now Axeon-Hagens Bergen) and Canadian team Spidertech.