Cofidis signs Labbe as it struggles to fill rosters

Former Bouygues Telecom rider returns to professional ranks

Cofidis has signed Arnaud Labbe with the hope the French rider will fill a void in its Giro d’Italia roster. The contract, which runs through to the end of this season, is a turnaround in fortune for Labbe who was left without a professional contract this season.

Having ridden for Bouygues Telecom from 2006 to 2009 and previously Auber 93 in 2005, he was forced to return to the amateur ranks this year with GSC Blagnac. While the 32-year-old’s main focus was in the cyclo-cross discipline, he’s no stranger to Grand Tours having contested both the Giro and Vuelta a Espana with Bouygues Telecom.

Cofidis was forced to withdraw from Scheldeprijs on Wednesday after it failed to assemble enough riders to fill its roster. Injury and illness within its ranks left the squad with no alternative but to withdraw.

Rider Jean-Eudes Demaret has been sidelined since contracting crohn's disease at the Tour of Gabon, while the team has also been without Tony Gallopin following an operation on his iliac artery.

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