Published on : 07/23/2023
The Cofidis team has just completed one of the finest Tours de France in its history. As in 2004 and 2008, the northern French outfit took two stage wins, with Victor Lafay and Ion Izagirre, and placed its leader, Guillaume Martin, in 10th place overall. It's the reward for years of hard work, investment and effort, enabling us to look to the future with maximum enthusiasm. Bryan Coquard demonstrated this in his own way: with his 7th place on the Champs-Elysées, he signed his 5th "top 10" in this unforgettable edition.
the first day of glory
The day before, he had invited himself into the wheel of Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard, who were looking at each other for the first time. The following day, at the end of stage 2, Victor Lafay took advantage of a moment's hesitation on the outskirts of San Sebastian to try his luck. He had to dare and provoke destiny to give himself the greatest of pleasures, and Victor demonstrated this in his own way. What followed was incredible emotion, burgeoning roadside popularity and entry into a new world, that of Tour de France stage winners.
the suspended moment
He was the first to believe that it was possible to break away from a leading group on the Tour de France, ride 30 km alone in the lead and win like a single man. Ion Izagirre put on quite a show on the roads leading to Belleville-en-Beaujolais. The only rider in the team, along with Simon Geschke, to have already won a stage, Ion Izagirre achieved the feat 7 years after his first victory.
at the end of his tether
Guillaume Martin, leader of the Nordiste team, knows how to manage his effort throughout the three weeks of competition. He also knows that you have to stick with it, whatever the cost, even on the "worst" days, and that the truth of one stage is never the same as the next. So he hung in there, striving for a long time to regain his best sensations. In the breakaway four times on this edition of the Tour de France, he played a key role in building Ion Izagirre's victory by disrupting the chasing group. On Saturday's final mountain stage, Guillaume held on to the lead right to the end, with the big guns, to climb back up the overall classification and finally finish 10th. This is his 2nd best Tour de France performance after 2021 (8th).
more united than ever
Behind these joys and successes, there's also a collective. Eight close-knit, smiling, cheerful riders and over twenty staff members who have contributed to their success. Admittedly, the Tour de France was cruel, with three team retirements. But that's nothing to forget: neither Alexis Renard's audacity in the sprints, nor the serenity offered in all circumstances by Anthony Pérez and Simon Geschke, nor Axel Zingle's ardor throughout his first Tour de France, nor Bryan Coquard's constant perseverance. Together, they have simply written one of the finest pages in the history of Cofidis. Like them, an entire team will strive, from the very first races onwards, to bring such strong emotions to life.
From now on,
time for women!
The enthusiasm generated by the men's team will be one of the sources of motivation for the women racers who started the Tour de France today with Zwift. Despite a very difficult course and a very high level of competition, the girls will try to take advantage of their role as outsiders to try their luck and play the spoilsport this Sunday...