The Cofidis team's first manager was Cyrille Guimard, who left after the first year (1997). From the very beginning, the team seduced great names of world cycling who nevertheless did not manage to shine in the Tour de France with Cofidis: Lance Armstrong, Maurizio Fondriest, Tony Rominger, Francesco Casagrande, Frank Vandenbroucke… American Bobby Julich (who would later admit to doping) clinched third place in the 1998 Tour, but it was in 2000 that a new chapter in the team's history was written when its Scottish star David Millar took the yellow jersey in his Tour de France debut in the symbolic setting of Futuroscope, and the squad sponsored by the loan company lit up France in July.
Millar's namesake David Moncoutié personifies the continuity of the sponsor from the Nord department in the world of cycling. With eleven Tour de France starts, the expert climber lived through all the ups and downs of the Cofidis team and bagged two stage wins in the process. The first one came in Figeac, in his home department of Lot, thus earning him a special place in the annals of the Grande Boucle!
The Cofidis star has waned a bit following their deliberate relegation to the second division in 2009 and the loss of their best men, including their most recent stage winner (2008) Sylvain Chavanel, but it remains a mainstay of cycling. Last year, their power sprinter Christophe Laporte came close to the stage win in Pau, losing to Arnaud Démare in a French 1-2 that had not been seen in a Tour de France bunch sprint since Jacques Esclassan and Yvon Bertin in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux four decades earlier. As well as having an ace or two up their sleeve for the sprint finishes, Cofidis can count on Colombian Darwin Atapuma in the mountains and Spaniard Jesús Herrada in transition stages.
Stage wins : 10
Secondary classification wins : 3
Yellow jerseys: 5
22: participations in the Tour de France (continuously since 1997).
2 August 1998: Cofidis wins the team classification prize on the Champs-Élysées.
1 July 2000: young David Millar causes a sensation in Futuroscope by claiming the opening time trial of the last Tour of the 20th century.
15 July 2004: David Moncoutié joins a select group of riders who have won a stage in their home department after coming out on top in Figeac (Lot).
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