French team to seek return to top tier in 2012
The 2011 Cofidis team was presented today, with its 25 professional riders and five paralympians lining the stage of the Casino de Paris. Two riders have made the transition from rider to directeur sportif this season, with rouler Stephane Augé coming from within the organization and Didier Rous moving from Bouygues Telecom to the rival French squad.
Team manager Eric Boyer is keeping the team on the same path as previous years, adding three new young riders and a few veterans to the 18 who remained.
After finishing 2010 with 23 victories including stages of the Giro d'Italia (Damien Monier), Vuelta a Espana (David Moncoutie) and Paris-Nice (Amaël Moinard) and the mountains classification at the Vuelta by Moncoutie, the team has upped its goals for 2011. In order to return to the sport's top tier, it hopes to be the top-ranked French team in the UCI rankings, to obtain the Tour de France stage win which eluded it this year, and to claim the overall Coupe de France prize.
"I see the work we do, and I am confident," Boyer said during the presentation. "I am convinced we will achieve these objectives."
The team was ranked 20th in the UCI's world rankings and was not accepted into the ProTeams ranks for the upcoming season. Boyer said he would seek a first division license for 2012. "I am convinced that we are going in the right direction but we must understand that it takes time."
Boyer said last fall that the lack of a recognized leader may have cost the team its chance to return to the first division. While it has not recruited any new big names, he will continue to foster the development of promising riders like Belgian Jens Keukeliere and Estonian Rein Taaramae to grow into that role while also relying on proven winners like Samuel Dumoulin and new recruit, Nicolas Vogondy, to continue to perform.
Cofidis for 2011
Julien El Fares
Luis Angel Mate
General manager: Eric Boyer.
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