© Lapierre

Lapierre

Founded in 1946 by Gaston Lapierre, the French bike brand has established itself as a mainstay in the world of cycling.

Lapierre
Lapierre

History

Founded in 1946 by Gaston Lapierre, the brand started as a small business in Dijon at a time when, post World War II, the cycling industry in France was seeing great growth and expansion. Under the ownership of Gaston, the company continued to flourish through the 1950s until 1960, when Gaston passed the ownership of the business on to his son, Jacky Lapierre.

As the growth of the brand continued under the direction of Jacky, a new facility was required for the production numbers that the company was experiencing. Remaining in Dijon, not only was a new production factory built, but so too was a spare parts building and a show room to display the Lapierre range.

Ahead of the curve compared to many European brands, Lapierrre was fast to identify mountain biking as an area to expand into. In 1988 Lapierre began sponsoring mountain bike racing teams and has received much success as a sponsor to this day, remaining a major player in off-road cycling.

Between 1993 and 1996, Lapierre went through a buyout from the Dutch Accell group, which would take sole investment in the company. It was at this time that Jacky stepped down and his son Gilles stepped into the position of Managing Director.

2002 was a landmark year for Lapierre, stepping into WorldTour racing, sponsoring French outfit Française des Jeux, now known as Groupama-FDJ. This put the Lapierre brand on a global stage at races such as the Tour de France, where they were fast to find success.

Lapierre released a new ‘a la carte’ option to its cycle collection in 2006. This allowed riders to individually configure their bikes with the exact components that they desired. This tailor-made approach to ordering a bike set Lapierre apart from the competition of the time and was a real selling point.

Much like with mountain bikes in the 1980s, Lapierre was early to the market with e-bikes, with its Overvolt range, which included long-travel mountain bikes, commuter bikes and road bikes.

Did you know?

Lapierre were the first bicycle manufacturer to win a World Cup XC race with a 29inch wheeled mountain bike, with Pauline Ferrand Prévot on the Pro Race 29 in 2011.

Pro cycling

Current sponsorships: Groupama-FDJ, FDJ-SUEZ.

Highlights:

  • In the early 2000s, Lapierre had a host of multi-disciplinary sponsorships, backing a triathlon team led by Audrey Cleau, mountain bike riders such as Jean-Christophe Péraud, Sabrina Enaux, Nicholas Vouilloz, and Yoann Barelli, and even cyclo-cross success through Frenchman Francis Mourey.
  • Lapierre's long-running sponsorship of the FDJ team began in 2002. In 2004, the team took the pink jersey as leader of the Giro d’Italia with Bradley McGee. This solidified the result of the previous year where they held every jersey of the 2003 Tour de France throughout the race, taking green all the way to Paris.
  • Thibaut Pinot became the talisman of the FDJ team, winning his first stage of the Tour de France in 2012, finishing on the podium in 2014, and taking further iconic stage victories atop Alpe d'Huez in 2015 and the Col du Tourmalet in 2019. Pinot also won stages at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, as well as winning Il Lombardia in 2018.
  • Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won four straight rounds of the UCI World Cup while riding for Lapierre's MTB team in 2011.
  • The FDJ Suez women's road team has grown in recent years, with some major triumphs. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won a stage of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes in 2022, as Marta Cavalli won Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne.

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