A French team created in 1997, Cofidis have yo-yoed up and down the WorldTour and ProConti ranks for over two decades. The team was created by legendary sports director Cyrille Guimard, who earned his reputation managing Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon at the Renault team in the 1980s.
They’ve nabbed 14 Tour de France stage wins in their history through the breakaway handiwork of David Millar, Sylvain Chavanel and David Moncoutié and most recently, the brilliance of Victor Lafay and Ion Izagirre. Lafay's surprising stage win at last year's race was the team's first in their home Grand Tour for 15 years. To say it was a long time coming would be an understatement, and Izagirre was quickly able to double up just ten days later. They will hope no such drought repeats itself.
However, only one of their riders has ever finished on a Grand Tour podium - Bobby Julich at the 1998 Tour de France. And only one of their riders has ever won a Monument - Frank Vandenbroucke at the 1999 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
That said, after a successful 2022 season which saw them win 19 races and bag a stage victory at the Vuelta a España, courtesy of the evergreen Jesús Herrada, the team were clearly turning a corner and this only continued through 2023.
The highlights of the season were most certainly the two Tour de France stage wins, which finally allowed the team to pop open the bottle of champagne that has remained unopened since their last success in 2008. A fine Grand Tour season continued at the Vuelta a España, where Herrada again triumphed from a breakaway in trademark fashion.
Elsewhere, Bryan Coquard's second season with the team was a successful one, taking three victories along the way, whilst the dependable Axel Zingle, Simone Consonni and Anthony Perez also added to the team's win tally. For a team that is usually very consistent, however, the off-season was a rather busy affair with transfers and it will be interesting to see how this plays out through 2024.
Consonni, Davide Cimolai, Max Walscheid and Victor Lafay have all left for pastures new, with the retiring José Herrada, Jelle Wallays and Pierre-Luc Périchon all adding to the departure list. It will be Lafay's absence that will be most keenly felt, having been a real homegrown talent.
The replacements that Cofidis have drafted in are all dependable but perhaps lack Lafay's star power. France's Kenny Elissonde has staved off retirement to offer his services to the WorldTeam, and he is joined by the likes of Ben Hermans, Gorka Izagirre and Stefano Oldani.
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