White jersey hopeful Rein Taaramae and veteran David Moncoutié will lead the Cofidis line-up at the Tour de France, the team announced on Monday. The mercurial Remi Di Gregorio and the punchy Samuel Dumoulin are also part of a team that is searching for its first Tour stage victory since 2008.
Taaramae finished the Tour in 11th place last season, narrowly missing out on winning the best young rider classification. The Estonian talent went on to take a stage victory at the Vuelta a España and warmed up for the Tour by capturing his national time trial title last week.
Moncoutié suggested last July that he had ridden his final Tour de France but the 37-year-old has been persuaded to line up at La Grande Boucle once again in 2012. Twice a stage winner, in 2004 and 2005, Moncoutié was overpowered by a rampant Thor Hushovd at Lourdes. In recent years, he has enjoyed greater success south of the Pyrenees, winning a stage and the mountains classification in the Vuelta for the past four seasons.
The team is completed by Nicolas Edet, Julien Fouchard, Jan Ghyselinck, Luis Angel Mate and Romain Zingle.
Although Cofidis recently confirmed its commitment to continue sponsorship through to the end of 2016, the team enters the race in need of significant results after a below-par opening half to the season.
La Voix du Nord last week reported that manager Éric Boyer’s position was under threat following a meeting with Cofidis Compétition president Thierry Vittu. The squad has just five victories in total thus far in 2012.
Cofidis team for the Tour de France: David Moncoutié, Rein Taaramae, Remi Di Grégorio, Samuel Dumoulin, Nicolas Edet, Julien Fouchard, Jan Ghyselinck, Luis Angel Mate and Romain Zingle.