Next season will mark the first time in his career that Jérome Coppel has ridden for a non-French team having signed for Swiss Pro-Continental outfit IAM Cycling. The 28-year-old spent the last two seasons with Cofidis, previously enjoying stints with Saur-Sojasun and Francaise des Jeux since turning professional in 2008, although his non-selection for the Tour de France was a contributing factor in moving on.
Coppel was 14th overall at the 2011 Tour and was touted a future grand tour contender but told L'Equipe in July that he is more comfortable in a supporting role with the freedom to target stage wins
At IAM Cycling, Coppel will be a key domestique for the team's GC rider Mathias Frank, a role he is looking forward to as he explained to FFC.fr
"My role in this team will be to help Mathias Frank in the big stage races on the calendar, like the Tour de France, the three-week races. I also have a similar role in races like Paris-Nice, and I'll have my own chance in one-week races with more time trialling. Why not in the Duaphiné?," Coppel said.
While currently holding a Pro-Contiental licence for 2015, IAM Cycling is still deliberating whether it will apply for the vacant WorldTour position leaving Coppel unsure what his racing schedule will be next year but would be happy to ride the Vuelta a España as well as the Tour. Coppel won the most aggressive rider award on stage 20 at this years Vuelta.
On his first impressions, Coppel explained his pleasure at joining IAM Cycling, adding that he is looking forward to getting to know his teammates during the offseason and outlines his ambitions for 2015.
"I spent a day with the staff and riders and the atmosphere is very good," he said. "Everyone came to talk to me. It's good to get together before the big training camps to come.
"My goal in 2015 is to find the fun after my health concerns. This summer at the Tour of Austria, I I was much better. The legs were again working well and it was confirmed on the roads of the Vuelta. Now I want to return to the level that I had at Saur-Sojasun and achieve good results."