Cofidis have declined an invitation to the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde for the second year running. The French ProTour team noted that the race's tendency to have serious crashes is what has prevented it from competing in the event.
"There are always serious falls and we prefer to keep our riders out of harms way," said sport director Alain Deloeil. "We booked a nice hotel for the team in Ellezelles, where we will have a four day training camp, beginning Monday evening. This will become our preparation for the Tour of Flanders."
Although they opted out of De Panne due to what they believe are dangerous conditions, Cofidis will send a team to the mid-week Belgian classic the Dwars door Vlaanderen. Vlaanderen race organisers have been busy preparing an alternative route due to the recent snow storms in Northern and central Europe.
From their original line up, only Kevin De Weert has been swapped for Alexandre Blain. "It has become apparent in the last few days that De Weert would have to stand down from the race," Deloeil explained.
Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Sylvain Chavanel (Fra), Alexandre Blan (Fra), Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra), Mathieu Heijboer (Ned), Frank Hoj (Den), Nick Nuyens (Bel), Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) and Tristan Valentin (Fra).