Vogondy gets late call-up from Bbox

Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel)

Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Two-time French champion Nicolas Vogondy has been offered a place on the Bbox Bouygues Telecom next season. The 32-year-old Frenchman has been on the look-out for a new team for some time after Agritubel, where he has spent the last three seasons, announced their withdrawal from the sport.

Initially, Vogondy had been hoping to find a place on Stéphane Heulot’s Saur-Sojasun team but Heulot couldn’t find a place for him. A subsequent enquiry by Vogondy to Bbox directeur sportif Didier Rous seemed to have ended similarly, but discussions in recent weeks have resulted in a one-year deal.

Vogondy, a pro since 1997, thanked both Agritubel and Bbox team boss Jean-René Bernaudeau for showing faith in him. “I’m not going to Bbox just to make up the numbers but to progress my career still further,” he told L’Equipe. He added that his goals for next season are to be in the running for a third French national title and to win a stage at the Tour de France, which would no doubt delight Bernaudeau, who is looking for a new primary sponsor for 2011.

Bernaudeau was pleased to have sealed the deal with Vogondy. “Just as with Anthony Charteau, who is returning to our team, we want riders here who don’t have any issues. Vogondy, like Freddy Bichot [also signed from Agritubel], is the kind of guy who battles all the time,” Bernaudeau commented.

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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).