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by Mark Zalewski
March 30, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kristoff wins second stage of De Panne, Gilbert extends lead; Avila wins a second stage at Tour de Taiwan; Better than ever at Spring Classics, Durbridge sets his eyes on Flanders and Roubaix; Hall closes in on Allegaert as the Indian Pacific Wheel Race approaches its final 1,000km; Keukeleire out of De Panne with Achilles injury; 15 riders, including stage winner Gilbert, fined for riding sidewalks at De Panne opener; Gamesmanship between Quick-Step Floors and Sagan heading into Flanders; Van Avermaet confident heading into Flanders; Bouhanni extends with Cofidis for two years; Gaviria leaves Classics to focus on Giro; Team Sunweb gives injury updates; Bernard Hinault inducted into Giro hall of fame; Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever,” episode 1: Palomar; Cross is not coming (yet).
French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni has extended with his Cofidis team for two more years, so will remain at the ProContinental level, despite routinely vying for the win against the top WorldTour sprinters. However, as a former top division team, Cofidis is often invited to WorldTour events as a wildcard and is in effect in between the two divisions.
“When I arrived in 2015, I had to take my bearings — I did take my first victory until April. Two years later, I already have 24 victories, seven in the WorldTour,” said Bouhanni. “The adaptation is successful and the assessment can only be positive.
“Stability brings serenity, which is why I chose to extend my contract. It was important for me to finalize this agreement early because I like to know what the future is all about. The Cofidis team and its leaders, Thierry Vittu, Yvon Sanquer and all the staff, trust me. This is the ProContinental team most often invited to the WorldTour events. This allows me to have a calendar that corresponds to my objectives and that sticks to the appointments that are close to my heart. ”
“Our joint venture with Nacer Bouhanni is continuing and this is of course very good news for the Cofidis team,” said team manager Yvon Sanquer. “The recruitment of one of the world’s best sprinters in 2015 has helped to structure the team’s way of running, which has been a source of learning and progress for the group as a whole. He has confidence in our ability to accompany him for the best years of his career and it demonstrates the quality of each team’s work. Nacer is reaching maturity and I am convinced that his already awarded prize will be enriched with even more beautiful victories.”
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