Cofidis have confirmed that Simone Consonni will join the French team for 2020, further boosting Elia Viviani's lead-out train as the French team steps up to WorldTour level and targets major sprint success.
The 24-year-old Italian is Viviani's usual Madison partner on the track and a talented Omnium rider. Both are expected to target the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 after riding together on the road.
Viviani confirmed his move from Deceuninck-QuickStep to Cofidis a few days after the transfer window officially opened on August 1. His long-standing lead-out man Fabio Sabatini will also join him at the French squad.
Cofidis are working to secure WorldTour status for 2020 and have also confirmed the arrival of French stage race rider and climber Guillaume Martin from Wanty-Groupe Gobert.
"We’ll have a really strong lead-out but what I want to build is a team that works together,” Cofidis team manager Cedric Vasseur told Cyclingnews last week.
"Cofidis in the future will not look like the Cofidis from the past. We still have a lot to do but, as you saw in the Tour, we're riding aggressively. We have what’s needed to support a sprinter, although we have to admit the results were not good with Nacer (Bouhanni). What we were missing was a winning sprinter and, for me, we have one in Viviani."
Consonni has a haul of world, European and Italian championships medals on the track. He turned professional with UAE Team Emirates in 2017 and was immediately competitive. His only professional victory is a stage at the Tour of Slovenia in 2018 but he often places in the top ten on sprint stages and has already competed in the 2018 Vuelta a España and the 2019 Giro d’Italia. On Sunday he played a key role in helping Viviani win the European road race title after giving his all in the attacks and echelons.
"It's pleasure to join the Cofidis team next season. When I was little, I remember watching races where Cofidis was already in the pack. It's a historic team," Consonni said.
"I want to thank UAE for the three seasons that I spent in their colours. It was time for me to set myself a new challenge and evolve in my career. I will do everything in the next two seasons to help win as much as possible. I’m obviously delighted to join a team where Elia Viviani, one of the best sprinters in the world, will also ride."