Cofidis has now finalised its lineup for the 2024 season, having signed French climber Kenny Elissonde and the versatile Belgian Ben Hermans, thereby completing their 30-rider roster. This announcement follows a period of notable departures from the team, including Tour de France stage victor Victor Lafay apparently moving to AG2R and Simone Consonni transferring to Lidl-Trek. To counterbalance these losses, Cofidis has welcomed not only Elissonde and Hermans but also Gorka Izagirre and Stefano Oldani, amongst others, as part of a larger shuffle that saw an equal number of twelve riders both leaving and joining.
Team manager Cedric Vasseur expressed his delight over the new additions, highlighting both riders’ WorldTour experience and their adaptability to high-level competition. Kenny Elissonde, known for his aggressive style in the mountains, is set to reinforce the team’s climbing prowess in stage races, complementing the efforts of Guillaume Martin, while Ben Hermans is expected to utilise his wide-ranging skill set across different types of races, providing valuable support to Axel Zingle.
Elissonde, a fan favourite whose palmarès include a stage win at the 2013 Vuelta a España and also a stint in the leader’s jersey in 2021, shared his enthusiasm for the new challenge and his eagerness to return to a French team. He mentioned his career-long experience in supporting team leaders while also seizing opportunities to play his own cards. As a climber, he emphasised the growth in self-knowledge and tranquillity that experience brings, as well as the importance of mentoring younger cyclists.
The 37-year-old Hermans joins Cofidis after a stint with Israel-Premier Tech, bringing with him a variety of notable triumphs, such as the 2017 Tour of Oman and the 2021 Arctic Race of Norway, as well as a victory in the De Brabantse Pijl semi-classic. He thanked Cofidis for the new opportunity and expressed his intention to give his all for his teammates, serve the team leaders, and seize chances to secure victories of his own. According to his new team, Hermans, who is on the cusp of achieving twenty career wins, demonstrated a fighter’s spirit, eager to train and compete to meet the ambitions of Cofidis.
Amidst the reshuffling, the core leadership within Cofidis remains solid, with Ion Izagirre, Bryan Coquard, Simon Geschke, Axel Zingle, and Guillaume Martin all retaining their positions as team leaders.