Cofidis continues

Friday, 26 March 2010

Congratulations to Eric Boyer and Francis Van Vanlondersele following the announcement that their team has secured an additional two year’s backing from Cofidis, the consumer finance company based in Northern France.

We remain in cycling because we haven’t found anything better in sport to promote our brand” said a spokesman. That’s because cycling reaches parts other sports do not, it is a sport that’s popular with housewives and those on low incomes and, cycling is also a relatively cheap way to reach a lot of these people. I’ve blogged on the demographics behind bike race audiences before and will expand on this in future as it’s full of nuggets.

I could blog one day about how Cofidis isn’t the nicest of companies as it’s basically – to use a now loaded phrase – a sub prime lender and it doesn’t have the finest record when it comes to sales practices. But that’s the business and not the pro cycling team so that can wait for another day. I don’t want to spoil the good news.

Well done to the Cofidis team for its excellent results and forward thinking management, especially Eric Boyer.

Bad timing?
There’s nothing like the contract coming to an end to make a rider hungrier for success. So was the announcement of the deal a bit too premature? I mean Cofidis could have kept its riders in the dark to boost their willingness to train smart and race hard. Maybe Cofidis isn’t as Machiavellian as I am, preferring honesty. Cofidis is an open and honest place now, that’s for sure. But it’s also likely that this announcement could stop the likes of Taraamae and kermi-king Keukeleire from approaching other teams.

Rewards

Eric Boyer was brought in to clean up what was an unhealthy and chaotic team, now things are much improved. I’m pleased that his anti-doping approach and openness to sports-science – they are one of the few teams to employ a full time coach on the books – can attract and retain sponsorship, it’s a healthy sign for the sport as a whole.

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