Bouhanni: I want to win as much as possible
Cofidis hoping for 20 victories in 2015 after signing French sprinter
The Cofidis team held their official presentation in the indoor Roubaix velodrome on Friday evening, with new team leader Nacer Bouhanni making clear his intentions for 2015.
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Bouhanni: I saw myself winning Milan-San Remo
"I want to win and win as much as possible, be it in WorldTour races or other smaller races I ride," he said according to Le Monde. "I've got my own lead out train and so I hope my results will reflect that. Every time I start a race, it'll be to win. My goal is to win, that's the only result that matters. Of course there some races that are especially close to my heart like Milan-San Remo and the Tour de France, where I hope to win some stages."
The Cofidis team has struggled through several dire seasons, winning only minor races and lacking a sense of direction. The arrival of Bouhanni indicates that has changed and the red Cofidis jerseys will likely be seen in the sprint stages alongside Giant-Alpecin and Etixx-QuickStep lead out trains of Marcel Kittel and Mark Cavendish.
"The team proved that they worked hard in 2014 but we've got to turn the page. With Nacer Bouhanni, there are good reasons to believe in us again. We hope to win 20 races in 2015," the head of Cofidis Competition Thierry Vittu told L'Equipe, apparently hinting that Cofidis could return to the WorldTour in 2016.
"It's wrong to say that we're starting from zero," team manager Yvon Sanquer said. "We've got a new sporting project with Nacer and also a new philosophy. We've hired one of the best sprinters in the world and we will give him the lead out train he deserves. Nacer is a leader and leads by example. We've already improved a lot."
Rollin part of the lead out train
Bouhanni is still only 24 but has already won 29 races, including three stages at the 2014 Giro d'Italia and two stages at the Vuelta a Espana.
He left the FDJ team to avoid competing with rival sprinter Arnaud Demare and Cofidis has built a lead out train to help him in the sprints. Cofidis team manager Yvon Sanquer explained that Geoffrey Soupe, Dominique Rollin, Adrien Petit and Jonas Ahlstrand will all be key riders in Bouhanni's lead out.
Rollin retired after the 2013 season but is good friends with Bouhanni, who convinced him to make a comeback. The French-speaking Canadian is likely to be Bouhanni's last man in many key sprints.
"I don't need people to put pressure on me. I put pressure on myself because I expect a lot from myself," Bouhanni explained. "I joined Cofidis to win, it doesn't matter when or where. I'm not interested in what happened at Cofidis in the past, I think we're going to write a new chapter in the history of the team."
Also in the 2015 team roster is climber Dani Navarro of Spain, who will be the team's leader in the mountains. He won a stage and finished 10th overall in the 2014 Vuelta a España. Former Europcar rider Steve Chainel is expected to lead the Cofidis team in the cobbled Classics.
Bouhanni will makes his racing debut with Cofidis at next week's Challenge Mallorca races.
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.