Cofidis sign Walscheid and Villella

Max Walscheid on the offensive at Paris-Roubaix
Max Walscheid on the offensive at Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty)

Cofidis have added Max Walscheid and Davide Villella to their roster for 2022. Walscheid arrives from Qhubeka NextHash, while Villella joins from Movistar, where he spent the past two seasons.

The 28-year-old Walscheid turned professional with Giant-Alpecin in 2016 before moving to the Qhubeka set-up at the start of the 2020 season. A rapid finisher and a strong rouleur, the German has won 11 races as a professional, including the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro and a stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2018.

Walscheid placed second at Scheldeprijs in 2019 and he performed strongly at this season’s delayed Paris-Roubaix, reaching the velodrome in 12th place. He has been signed to bolster Cofidis’ Classics squad following Christophe Laporte’s departure for Jumbo-Visma and Elia Viviani’s transfer to Ineos Grenadiers.

“Signing for Cofidis gives me a chance to target good results,” Walscheid said in a statement released by his new team on Thursday. “I’m keen to do everything I can to keep progressing and help the team to win. 

"During the season, I hope to ride the Classic and participate in some Grand Tours. I know I can finish strongly at Paris-Roubaix and that will be one of my big objectives, to shine for Cofidis on their home roads.”

Villella has been signed to bolster the climbing support around Guillaume Martin, who placed eighth overall at the Tour de France and ninth overall at the Vuelta a España this season. The Italian’s three professional wins include the 2016 Japan Cup, and he was also king of the mountains at the 2017 Vuelta.

The 30-year-old has raced for Cannondale, Astana and Movistar in a pro career that began in 2014.

“I’m a climber and I look to put myself at the service of my leaders,” Villella said. “I’ve worked for Jakob Fuglsang, Rigoberto Urán, Miguel Ángel López, Alejandro Valverde… and I’m very keen to do it from now on for Guillaume Martin. He was impressive this season in placing in the top 10 in two Grand Tours, and I’m convinced that I can contribute so that he continues to blossom at the highest level.” 

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