FDJ’s Offredo suspended

FDJ’s Yoann Offredo has been suspended for one year by the French Cycling Federation after three anti-doping “whereabouts” errors. News of the mistakes came out in early January. Now the sanction has arrived.

Is it harsh? This depends on your viewpoint but we have a rider entering the prime of their career suspended thanks to paperwork problems.

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Yoann Offredo

Offredo Nieuwsblad

Seventh in Milan-Sanremo, Yoann Offredo is looking like the real deal for a French classics rider. It wasn’t a fluke, you simply can’t appear at the front of the race on the Poggio by accident. He was the first rider to jump on Tom Boonen’s wheel in Het Nieuwsblad a few weeks ago, making the front group then too.

Last year he was third in the GP Plouay, behind Matt Goss and Tyler Farrar and before that I’d tipped him this time last year as one to watch. Now 24 years old, he’s been a pro with FDJ since 2008. His first flash was in Milan-Sanremo last year when he attacked in the late stages of the race, riding solo and only getting caught on the Poggio. He’s from just outside Paris and a big rider at 1.90m tall, although only 67kg.

The Frenchman has proved strong and has a predilection for hard races with long distances and bad weather. In fact he’s known for his hard training sessions, often doing more than 200km at a time in a bid to get himself ready for the big races.

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Riders to watch for 2011

With riders starting training camps and getting their new 2011 kit, who are the ones to watch out for next year? Here’s a selection of a few names, it is not so much an exhaustive list as a personal watchlist. Thibaut Pinot (left) is one to watch Sometimes riders can show something special, only to … Read more