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Coppel moves to Cofidis, Taaramäe extends

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Hopes are high for Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) in France.

Hopes are high for Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) in France. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Jerome Coppel (Saur - Sojasun)

Jerome Coppel (Saur - Sojasun) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jérôme Coppel (Saur - Sojasun) speeds to the time trial victory.

Jérôme Coppel (Saur - Sojasun) speeds to the time trial victory. (Image credit: AFP Photo)

The Cofidis team has announced the signing of Jérôme Coppel, stage race leader of Professional Continental team Saur-Sojasun. At the same time, it was made official that Rein Taaramäe, who has been with the squad since 2008, has extended his contract.

Coppel, who did not achieve the targeted top 15 placing at the Tour de France this year but instead finished 21st due to an illness in the third week, will strengthen the French Cofidis team after what has been a disappointing season so far. A drastic change of management just prior to the Tour (Eric Boyer was replaced by Yvon Sanquer) further shows the team sponsor's will to renew the squad and return to former competitiveness.

Cofidis' Tour de France cannot be called satisfactory as the team failed to claim a stage and Rémy di Grégorio was taken into police custody for alleged involvement with a Marseille-based doping ring. It is furthermore expected that three-time Vuelta a Espana mountains jersey winner David Moncoutié, who crashed out of what was his final Tour, will leave the outfit at the end of the year to retire.

Meanwhile, young gun Taaramäe from Estonia has extended his contract. He brought in the only positive result for the squad at the Tour as he wore the white jersey of best young rider through the first week of the event, before losing it to later winner Tejay Van Garderen (Garmin-Sharp) at the time trial in Besançon.