FLÈCHE WALLONNE: WITH SEVERAL CARDS TO PLAY
The specialists of the Flandrienne classics leave the place to the afficionados of the Ardennes. In this respect, the Cofidis team intends to be one of the great animators of the Flèche Wallonne. And it has plenty of assets to do so! Ion Izagirre will be part of the team. The Basque rider has already won a stage in the Tour of the Basque Country and finished 2nd in the general classification. He will be joined by Jesús Herrada and Victor Lafay, 1st and 2nd of the Classique Grand Besançon Doubs on Friday and therefore particularly sharp.
The squad: Simon Geschke, Jesús Herrada, Ion Izagirre, Victor Lafay, Anthony Perez, Rémy Rochas, Axel Zingle
Sporting director: Thierry Marichal
CORK-BASTOGNE-CORK, WITH THE SUPPORT OF GUILLAUME MARTIN
On Sunday, it's time for the Doyenne des Classiques. The course promises to be particularly demanding throughout the 254.7 km to be covered. After a gentle warm-up, there are ten climbs to overcome, including the last one, the Roche aux Faucons, 13 kilometres from the finish. Once again, Cofidis will not lack arguments. Ion Izagirre has a solid experience of this race: he has competed in it 7 times and finished 5th in 2017. Guillaume Martin also won the espoir edition in 2015. The Normandy native has 6 participations including a 15th place last year. This season, he returns to competition after a month that he used to take part in a training course at altitude, in Sicily. And Guillaume likes to remind that the races that follow his training sessions are usually very successful for him...
The squad: Simon Geschke, Jesús Herrada, Ion Izagirre, Victor Lafay, Guillaume Martin, Anthony Perez, Rémy Rochas
Team managers: Thierry Marichal, Bingen Fernandez
WOMEN'S TEAM : FIRST PODIUM FOR THE TEAM
The joy was intense yesterday afternoon in Belgium. For the first time in its young history, the women's team had a representative on the podium. Martina Alzini took 3rd place in the sprint at the Ronde de Mouscron. During the whole race, the Cofidis riders were very strong: for a long time, Cédrine Kerbaol, Alana Castrique and Martina Alzini were in the first group. Alana attacked with around ten kilometres to go and Martina took part in the final sprint before crossing the line in 3rd place. This result shows the great dynamic of the team, two days after the presence of two Cofidis riders in the top 20 of Paris-Roubaix (Victoire Berteau 17th, Alana Castrique, 20th). Now it's time for the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday and Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday to continue the success.
The squad at Flèche Wallonne: Cédrine Kerbaol, Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin, Rachel Neylan, Clara Koppenburg, Olivia Onesti, Sandra Levenez
The squad at Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Cédrine Kerbaol, Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin, Rachel Neylan, Clara Koppenburg, Alana Castrique, Sandra Levenez
Team managers: Gaël Le Bellec, Arthur Quilliec
Ion IZAGIRRE: "The Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are among my personal objectives. I am very keen to achieve the best possible result. Of course, these are very special races and maybe the 'Flèche' is a little bit less for me but more for an explosive rider. But I think that we have riders who can make it, like Jesús Herrada. Liège-Bastogne-Liège is a race I love, full of history. I have already finished fifth in this race (in 2017) and it would be fantastic to achieve such a result. After the Tour of the Basque Country, my stage win and 2nd place overall, I feel particularly motivated to take up the challenge and achieve the best possible performance."
Guillaume MARTIN: "I have been participating in an altitude training camp in Sicily for two weeks. I will arrive in Belgium this Thursday to race Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It will be a resumption for me after a month without competition. I am usually in good shape after a training camp. I hope to perform well in this resumption, even if Liège-Bastogne-Liège is an extremely tough race. I will arrive in the unknown but with good memories of this race, especially having won the espoir edition in 2015. I have been in the group that arrives for 6th place for a few years now. This time, I hope to catch the group that arrives in front. We are coming with a very strong team, we will have several cards in our hand and it will be up to us to play them well and take advantage of this collective strength."