Cofidis pledges to prove its worth, BBox also to fight on
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cofidis pledges to prove its worth, BBox also to fight on

by Conal Andrews at 6:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Informed Tuesday that it would not be given a ProTour licence, the Cofidis team will use the decision as an incentive to ride to a higher level in 2010. “We have a good group, it is on the sporting field that we will react,” said Cofidis president Thierry Vittu, according to Le Parisien.

The team plus that of BBox Bouygues Telecom are currently ranked just outside the top 18 in world cycling, with three Professional Continental teams ahead of them. Vittu accepted that the season was not a great one for its riders, calling the decision an objective one.

“Our 20th place in the team standings is not up to what one might expect,” he acknowledged. However, with Miram being given a one year licence, he may well have hoped that the UCI would have also given them the chance to prove their worth.

“It [this decision] is a bit of a surprise and also a disappointment, considering the link between Cofidis and cycling," said Vittu.

The BBox Bouygues Telecom team has also responded, and said that it will be business as usual. Team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau accepts that the team may miss some races outside France, but that the key targets will still be on the calendar.

"We are covered by a contract for participation in the Grand Tours under an agreement signed in London in 2008 by the 18 ProTour teams,” he told AFP. “We have a loyal sponsor who supports us. This decision therefore does not change our goals or objectives."

Cofidis won a stage plus the mountains classification in the recent Vuelta a Espana, thanks to David Moncoutie, while BBox Bouygues Telecom landed stage victories in the Tour de France via attacks by Thomas Voeckler and Pierrick Fedrigo.

The latter has indicated that he wants to leave the team due to the lack of a ProTour licence, but Bernaudeau has said that no such get-out clause exists.

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