Although there was widespread indignation that Europcar and not Astana failed to secure a renewal of its WorldTour licence, team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau was not among those roused to anger. Speaking to L’Équipe following the UCI’s announcement that the French team will no longer be part of the sport’s elite hierarchy, Bernaudeau admitted he’d been left “very tired” by the application process and confirmed that any of his riders could leave if they were able to.
“Yes, if any of them have got offers, what do you want me to tell them?” said the Europcar boss when asked if the team’s relegation from the WorldTour to likely Pro Continental status had left his riders free to pursue other options that would guarantee them a start in all of the biggest races. However, with the new season just weeks away, it seems unlikely any of Europcar’s stars will depart.
Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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