Eric Boyer, team manager of French squad Cofidis, has been sacked on Monday following weeks of rumours. François Migraine, head of the team's sponsor, blamed Boyer for the outfit's lack of results this season and decided to replace him. According to L'Equipe, former Festina, Astana and FDJ-BigMat directeur sportif Yvon Sanquer will replace him, with the start of the 2012 Tour de France only a few days away.
Boyer, a former pro rider and Giro d'Italia stage winner, joined Cofidis in 2005 to save the team in the aftermath of the Cofidis doping affair, which involved a soigneur and several riders including Philippe Gaumont and David Millar. The now 48-year-old succeeded in restoring the team's credibility and brought the outfit back to success, while at the same time being active as president of the team's association AIGCP. Cofidis' best year in terms of results during his tenrue was in 2008, when Samuel Dumoulin and Sylvain Chavanel won stages at the Tour de France and Chavanel won two Flandrian semi-Classics, Dwars Door Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl.
But after the team lost its ProTour license in 2010, results have not been convincing and Boyer's recent incapacity to keep such promising riders like Tony Gallopin, who opted for RadioShack, were additional reasons which led to his exit. Nonetheless, L'Equipe quotes a rider agent, who noted, "It's suprising to reproach to Eric Boyer for having failed in terms of rider recruiting when it was actually François Migraine who directly negotiated the contracts, often behind Boyer's back."
Boyer has not yet publicly reacted to this new turn of events, nor has Cofidis officially announced Yvon Sanquer as new manager. But Migraine hopes that the change of management will serve as "a shock treatment" for the team's riders at the Tour.