By Jean-François Quénet
Auber 93, a French professional outfit since 1994, has completed its 10-men roster with the signing of Jonathan Thiré, who joins the squad from amateur team U Nantes-Atlantique just like Mathieu Drujon and Christophe Diguet did in the previous two years.
The 21 year-old has compiled five wins this year, including the UCI 2.2 Tour of Gironde in June. He was a regular member of the U23 French national team at the Nations Cup events and also rode as a stagiaire for Agritubel and helped Moises Dueñas to win the Regio Tour in August. He later went for a long breakaway in Paris-Bourges in October, but didn't secure a contract with the French Pro Continental team because of the signing of two riders – neo-pro Maxime Bouet and veteran Christophe Rinero – together with French champion Christophe Moreau.
"I was disappointed but I think Auber 93 is a good ramp towards bigger teams", said the young rider from Nantes. Three members of Auber 93 are joining Pro Tour teams in 2008 – Drujon (Caisse d'Epargne), Guillaume Levarlet (Française des Jeux) and Maxime Médérel (Crédit Agricole).
As he does every year, Auber 93's team manager Stéphane Javalet has replaced them with up and coming French talents with the addition of Thiré, Tony Gallopin from SCO Dijon, Morgan Chedhomme and Arnold Jeannesson who were already riding for the amateur club of CM Aubervilliers. The six other riders confirmed for Auber 93 in 2008 are Niels Brouzes, Steve Chainel, Diguet, Jérémie Galland, Jean Mespoulède and Florian Morizot.
Auber 93 enjoyed highlights between 1996 and 2001 when it contested the Tour de France with BigMat as a title sponsor.