French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni's new lead-out train debuted yesterday on Twitter. Cyril Lemoine, Dominique Rollin, Jonas Ahlstrand, Adrien Petit and Geoffrey Soupe will drive team Cofidis’s red train through the 2015 season that will include the Tour de France.
The 24-year-old Frenchman sprinted to his first Grand Tour wins in 2014 - three stages in the Giro d'Italia and two in the Vuelta a España - but fell out with team FDJ's manager Marc Madiot. He wanted to race Milan-San Remo and the Tour de France, but Madiot also had sprinter Arnaud Démare.
French Professional Continental team, Cofidis signed him as a way to build up its win count and earn wildcard invitations to the big races. It already received confirmation that it will race the Tour de France, July 4 to 26.
To support its investment, Cofidis strengthened its lead-out train and debuted it in a series of Tweets:
- For starters, @CyriLemoine will be responsible for imposing a big pace ahead of the pack
- "Sparrow" will be followed by @be_Rollin, who will increase the pace further and lead the sprinters.
- The Horse @be_Rollin... His mission will be to keep the pace as long as possible before releasing the rest of the red train.
- He will transfer it over to @JonasAhlstrand, team newcomer and first lead-out man
- Our bison @PetitAdrien62 will take over for the the final kilometre
- After Adri, our last lead-out man @SoupeG will launch @BouhanniNacer into orbit.
- Dropped to 200m, we hope @BouhanniNacer will sprint for the win.
Swede Ahlstrand joined this year from Marcel Kittel's Giant team. France's Soupe came from FDJ with Bouhanni, and will deliver the sprints as Mark Renshaw does for Mark Cavendish. Canadian Rollin last raced for FDJ in 2013.
Ahlstrand, Petit and Soupe can win in smaller races, but will support Bouhanni the important appointments. Their challenge will be to match and conquer the more experienced lead-out trains of Etixx-Quick-Step, Alpecin-Giant and Lotto-Belisol. 'The Boxer' Bouhanni will have to beat their leaders: Cavendish, Kittel and André Greipel.
Bouhanni's season starts at the Mallorca Challenge this week where he will face Greipel. He continues with the Tour of Qatar, where Kittel will be racing. His first race against Cavendish could be the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. All four sprinters are due to clash at the Tour de France.
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