Cofidis's Stephane Auge to move from the bike to the team car for 2011
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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Cofidis's Stephane Auge to move from the bike to the team car for 2011

by Jered Gruber at 12:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Cofidis rider makes a late switch from the team roster to management

Stephane AugeThe 36 year French rider Stephane Auge has called an end to his career, despite still having a contract with his longtime Cofidis team. The rider began preparing for the 2011 season as he normally would, but after speaking with Cofidis manager, Eric Boyer, at length, he decided to swap two wheels for four and become a director sportif for his Cofidis team.

Auge is the second rider from the south of France to make the switch from racer to director this winter following the move of Nicolas Portal from the saddle to the car at Team Sky.

Eric Boyer, speaking to Sudouest.fr, confirmed Auge's trepidation ahead of the new season and provided a second possibility for the rider who enjoyed eleven seasons at the highest level.

"Stephen told me of his doubts and spoke of his desire to become a director. With the agreement of the team leadership, I offered him a position, because I think he has the qualities to succeed, as well as the experience and the charisma."

Boyer admits that he can't communicate with his team in the way that a racer could. That will be something that Auge will be able to do with aplomb in the coming year.

"Who better than he to know the mood of the riders and what is going on in the bunch? He knows exactly what each rider is capable of in the team."

The nearly constant aggressor in eight Tours de France was justifiably pleased with his new career path.

"I wanted to finish my career and fine fashion and make a change that I liked when I was done. I wanted to convey my experience to the younger riders, and within this team, it's even better. The fiber of Cofidis is in me."

Auge enjoyed a long, varied career starting in 1998 as a stagiaire with Gan-Credit Agricole. He wasn't picked up for the 1999 season by the team, but got a second shot as a stagiaire at the end of that season, this time with Festina. Festina were happy with the young rider, and signed him on for 2000. He spent two seasons with the watch sponsored team before moving over to Jean Delatour for the 2002 season, followed by Credit Agricole in 2003 and 2004. He ultimately landed at Cofidis in 2005, and he has been there ever since.

Auge was not a prolific winner, but did manage nine victories as a professional, highlighted by a stage win at the Tour of Poland in 2006, two stages of the Deutschland Tour (2002 and 2008), and overall victory at the Four Days of Dunkirk along with a stage win in 2008.

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