Cyrille Guimard managed Cofidis in 1997, its first year in the peloton. Its original approach, based on recruiting international stars such as Lance Armstrong, Maurizio Fondriest, Tony Rominger, Francesco Casagrande and Frank Vandenbroucke, failed to translate into success in the Tour de France. American Bobby Julich (who would later admit to doping) finished third in the 1998 Tour, but it was only in 2000 that the Scottish star David Millar wrote a new chapter in the team's history when he took the yellow jersey in his Tour de France debut in the aptly named setting of Futuroscope and put the outfit sponsored by the loan company on the map in July.
Millar's namesake David Moncoutié was the living embodiment of the long-term commitment of the sponsor from northern France to cycling. An expert climber, Moncoutié lived through all the ups and downs of the Cofidis team and grabbed two stage wins in eleven Tour de France starts. The first one, in Figeac, made him one of the few riders to have won a Tour stage in their home department!
The Cofidis star waned following its self-imposed relegation to the second division in 2009 and the departure of key men such as Sylvain Chavanel, its most recent stage winner (2008). In 2018, its power sprinter Christophe Laporte narrowly missed out on a stage win in Pau, losing to Arnaud Démare in the first French one-two in a Tour de France bunch sprint since Jacques Esclassan and Yvon Bertin in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux four decades earlier. After an uninspired performance in 2019, the team, now headed by Cédric Vasseur, boosted its firepower in the mountains by signing Guillaume Martin, who came out of the Pyrenean stages in third place overall before a crash put paid to his ambitions. However, he still managed to finish as the top French rider and eleventh overall in the 2020 Tour and went on to take the mountains classification in the Vuelta later in the season. He continued his rise in 2021 with eighth place in the Tour and ninth in the Vuelta. A rider with a penchant for mammoth breakaways in the medium mountains, he has posted a mixed bag of performances. He finished stage 14, two thirds through the 2021 Tour de France, in second place overall, behind Tadej Pogačar, but the next day he lost touch with the favourites on a descent. At any rate, he is still a remarkably consistent rider. A positive COVID-19 test knocked him out of the race last year, leaving Simon Geschke to light up the stages and spend a long time in the polka-dot jersey. Benjamin Thomas came tantalisingly close to a stage win in Carcassonne, where the peloton swallowed him up within 500 metres of the finish line. However, Guillaume Martin remains the leader of Cofidis and one of France's best bets for a top 10 finish.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories10
- Yellows Jerseys5
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 0
Podium finishes: 1
- 1998: Bobby Julich, third
Stage wins: 10
- 1997: Laurent Desbiens in Perpignan (following the relegation of Sergei Outschakov)
- 2000: David Millar in Futuroscope (ITT)
- 2002: David Millar in Béziers
- 2003: David Millar in Nantes (ITT)
- 2004: Stuart O'Grady in Chartres and David Moncoutié in Figeac
- 2005: David Moncoutié in Digne-les-Bains
- 2006: Jimmy Casper in Strasbourg
- 2008: Samuel Dumoulin in Nantes and Sylvain Chavanel in Montluçon
Secondary classification wins: 3
- 1998: Christophe Rinero (mountains classification) and team classification
- 2008: Sylvain Chavanel (most combative rider)
Yellow jerseys: 5
- 1998: Laurent Desbiens, two days
- 2000: David Millar, three days
STARTS: 26 (unbroken streak since 1997)
15: the length in years of their drought of Tour de France stage wins.
2 August 1998: Cofidis is awarded the team classification trophy on the Champs-Élysées.
1 July 2000: Young David Millar causes a huge upset in Futuroscope by beating Lance Armstrong into second place in the opening time trial of the last Tour of the 20th century.
15 July 2004: David Moncoutié joins the select group of riders who have won a stage in their home department after prevailing in Figeac (Lot).
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