Frenchman Jimmy Casper reached a deal with directeur sportif Stéphane Heulot to ride for the new Besson Chaussures - Sojasun team in 2009. At age 30, the Tour de France stage winner has been a professional for ten years and previously ridden for Française des Jeux, Cofidis, Unibet and Agritubel.
"I know Jimmy for a long time and we have already been together on the same team," said Heulot. "After a mixed 2008, he accepted the offer to come join us in our project of a new team. He comes with humility and he will share his experience with the rest of the group. It will be obviously valuable to us to have him because of his impact in races that end in a sprint."
"Jimmy has taken a step toward us, and I cannot fail to hear his appeal; friendship and loyalty are values we also share."
Besson Chaussures - Sojasun is a France-based Continental team, or third-division.
With 19 victories, Casper is tied with Sylvain Chavanel for the most victories by a French rider over the past five seasons. He has 37 total career victories. In 2008, Casper won one stage each in the Tour Méditerranéen, the Circuit de Lorraine and the Boucles de la Mayenne.
Casper tested positive for glucocorticoids during the Tour de France, one of seven riders to be found with the drug in his system but the only one who did not carry a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the drug. He was exonerated due to a paperwork error in renewing his TUE.
Besson Chaussures - Sojasun for 2008: Cyril Bessy, Jimmy Casper, Cédric Coutouly, Jimmy Engoulvent, Jérémie Galland, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Laurent Mangel, Jean-Marc Marino, Romain Matheou, Florian Morizot, Julien Simon, Benoît Sinner, Yannick Talabardon