Bernaudeau confident of attracting sponsor and keeping Coquard
Europcar manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has yet to confirm a replacement sponsor for 2016 but he has insisted that his squad will remain in existence next season and will be built around the sprinting talents of Bryan Coquard.
Earlier this week, Bernaudeau revealed that he had begun the process of applying for a WorldTour licence for 2016 and said that he was in talks with five possible sponsors for next year, including two from abroad.
“We haven’t closed any negotiation yet but I’m optimistic,” Bernaudeau told Cyclismactu. “We will be there in 2016. Getting into the WorldTour would depend on having a big contract but my team will be around next season.”
Both Coquard and Pierre Rolland have been linked with moves to other teams in recent weeks, with IAM Cycling reported to be interested in signing Coquard. Bernaudeau, however, said that his riders are prepared to hold fire on any possible transfers until August 15 to allow him time to confirm a new title sponsor.
“Bryan Coquard will be at the centre of the team, everything will revolve around him,” Bernaudeau said. “We have a very serious option to help him to grow, to support him, but it’s impossible to say the name until it’s signed. Thomas Voeckler is the soul of the team, he’s been with us since Vendée U [the amateur team that was the genesis of Europcar – ed.] and he can’t imagine being elsewhere. Pierre Rolland hasn’t been with us from the start but he knows what he owes us. He is very ambitious for next year.”
French champion Tronet signs for Bretagne-Séché
French champion Steven Tronet has signed for Bretagne-Séché (which will operate under the Fortuneo-Vital Concept banner) for the 2016 season. The move to Pro Continental level marks a step up for the 28-year-old Tronet, who has spent the past four seasons at Auber 93.
A surprise winner of the French title, Tronet has enjoyed a fine 2015 campaign, which also included stage victories at the Route du Sud, Ronde de l’Oise and Circuit des Ardennes. His purple patch in early summer also attracted interested from Ag2r-La Mondiale but Bretagne-Séché moved quicker to sign him up.
“I opted for a team where I knew it would be easy to fit in,” Tronet said, according to L’Équipe. “And since I’m from the Pas-du-Calais, the prospect of finally being able to ride Paris-Roubaix really attracted me.”
Mollema wins Spektakel van Steenwijk
Bauke Mollema won the post-Tour criterium 'Spektakel van Steenwijk' on Tuesday, winning from a breakaway over Albert Timmer (Giant-Alpecin) and Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge).
Wout Poels was awarded the points classification, while Lieuwe Westra (Astana) was the most aggressive rider. See the photo gallery at the top of the page for more photos.
Photo: Bert Geerts