The Cofidis team's first manager was Cyrille Guimard, who left after the first year (1997). In its early years, its approach based on recruiting big names of the international peloton failed to translate into success in the Tour de France: Lance Armstrong, Maurizio Fondriest, Tony Rominger, Francesco Casagrande, Frank Vandenbroucke… 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 personifies the continuity of the sponsor from the Nord department in the world of 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 somewhat following its deliberate relegation to the second division in 2009 and the loss of key men such as its most recent stage winner (2008), Sylvain Chavanel, but it has now returned to the WorldTour! In 2018, power sprinter Christophe Laporte came close to the 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 a streak of bad luck in 2019, the team now managed by Cédric Vasseur is a force to be reckoned in bunch sprints and in the mountains after signing Elia Viviani and Guillaume Martin.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories10
- Yellows Jerseys5
- Other races Won3
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
A FIGURE 23:
participations in the Tour de France (continuously since 1997).
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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