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Cofidis take aim at WorldTour status with 28-rider roster

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Nacer Bouhanni jokes with his teammates

Nacer Bouhanni jokes with his teammates (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Luis Angel Mate in polka dots after stage 10 at the Vuelta

Luis Angel Mate in polka dots after stage 10 at the Vuelta (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christophe Laporte comes up to teammate Nacer Bouhanni after stage 1 of the Route d'Occitaine

Christophe Laporte comes up to teammate Nacer Bouhanni after stage 1 of the Route d'Occitaine (Image credit: Route d'Occitaine)
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Christophe Laporte during Dwars door Vlaanderen

Christophe Laporte during Dwars door Vlaanderen (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis)

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) (Image credit: Jorge Guerrero/Getty Images)
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The Cofidis team worked hard for Herrada

The Cofidis team worked hard for Herrada (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) is the new Vuelta leader after stage 12

Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) is the new Vuelta leader after stage 12 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Cofidis have confirmed their 28-rider roster for 2019, with sprinters Nacer Bouhanni and Christophe Laporte set to the lead the French squad as it tries to step up from Professional Continental to WorldTour level in 2020.

New signings include Darwin Atapuma (from UAE Team Emirates), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data), 2018 Red Hook criterium series winner Filippo Fortin (Team Felbermayr-Simplon Wels), Jesper Hansen (Astana), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Zico Waeytens (Veranda’s Willems-Crelan), as the team tries to widen its options and score vital ranking points in the hope of securing one of the 18 spots in the 2020 WorldTour.

Daniel Navarro has moved to Katusha-Alpecin, Anthony Turgis to Direct Energie, while Daniel Teklehaimanot has been let go after less than a season with the team.

"If we want to be a WorldTour team we have to act like we're one already, even if we're not one. We'll have 28 riders like most WorldTour teams and I think 2019 is going to be a transitional year for us. We have signed riders from the WorldTour, and with WorldTour experience. Everything I'm trying to build is with that WorldTour focus.

“We managed to create a new dynamic in the team based on the culture of winning and the performances followed that in the Coupe de France and in the Europe Tour and even in World Tour races such as Paris-Nice, Critérium du Dauphiné and even during the Tour de France and the Vuelta. With the new arrivals to the tram and the lessons we’ve learnt, I’m convinced we’ll have an even stronger team in 2019 that is eager to ride the wave of success."

Vasseur hopes that taking the pressure of Bouhanni can help him perform better in the sprints that suit him. Both Laporte and Bouhanni will have stronger leads outs in 2019.

"In playing different cards, like Atapuma in the mountains, Laporte in other races, it will be something exciting for Nacer. He likes boxing, of course, and he likes to fight. I want him to fight for the win all the time. I think 2019 will be an easier year,” Vasseur said.