French team aims to come back to the ProTour
Born in 1997, the Cofidis team will exist at least until the end of the 2012 season as the credit company decided to extend its sponsorship for two more years.
"We remain in cycling because we haven't found anything better in sport to promote our brand," said Thierry Vittu, the director of Cofidis Competition.
Member of the UCI Pro Tour since 2005, Cofidis was relegated to the Pro Continental ranks at the end of last season due to their poor results in 2009 and the short term commitment of the sponsor whose current contract expired after the 2010 season.
The downgrade seems to have been an interesting boost for the riders in red and white colours as they have already won 11 times during the first two months of racing this year.
The revelation of Belgian rookie Jens Keukeleire who collected four wins and the panache of Amaël Moinard who claimed the last stage of Paris-Nice with the polka dot jersey on his shoulders have highlighted the early part of the 2010 season.
"Of course we are very happy that Cofidis has renewed its confidence in our work. What makes me the most happy is that we can now continue the work we have started this season, which started to bear fruit. This team is building up soul, and we do a good job. I feel assured now, but we won't sit back. We'll remain concentrated to continue to produce results at the highest level," said team manager Eric Boyer.
"It's a great news for us to learn that our sponsor wants to continue", directeur sportif Francis Vanlondersele commented with a large smile in Porto-Vecchio prior to the Criterium International where David Moncoutié will captain the Cofidis team.
Vanlondersele and Moncoutié have been the core of the squad since the creation fourteen years ago. Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer led the protest against the UCI Pro Tour during the 2008 season, a move that is rumoured to have been one of the reasons for the exclusion from the highest rank of the cycling teams.
"Our ambition is very clear: we want to come back in the Pro Tour", Vittu announced.
Hedwig Kröner contributed to this report.
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