Cyrille Guimard managed Cofidis in 1997, its first year in the peloton. It adopted an original approach, which did not translate into success on the Tour de France, by recruiting international stars: Lance Armstrong, Maurizio Fondriest, Tony Rominger, Francesco Casagrande, Frank Vandenbroucke, etc. 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 on 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.
Another David was the living embodiment of the long-term commitment of the sponsor from northern France to cycling: Moncoutié. 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 a luckless performance in 2019, the team, now headed by Cédric Vasseur, boosted its firepower in the mountains by signing Guillaume Martin, who completed 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. His performance level moved up another notch in 2021: 8th on the Tour and 9th on the Vuelta. A proponent of long breakaways at medium altitude, he has still not managed to get rid of the yo-yo habit: although second behind Tadej Pogačar after two thirds (14 stages) of last year’s Tour de France, he slid down the classification the following day after losing contact with the favourites during a descent. His consistency at the highest level is exemplary but he still has not managed to fully achieve his goals, as illustrated at this year’s Giro d’Italia (14th overall and at best 7th on a stage).
- 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 at 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
25: Tour de France starts (a streak unbroken 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 at 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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