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cj2002

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Direct Energie news thread
« on: October 08, 2012, 10:15 »
In amongst all the hoo-hah of the annual transfer/points/licence merry-go-round, I was pleased to see this story:

Team Europcar happy to avoid WorldTour status

Quote
Team Europcar manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has confirmed that the French team has not applied for a place in the 2013 WorldTour, claiming he is happy to stay as a Professional Continental team, knowing that the results of team leaders Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland will ensure wild card invitations to most of the major races, including the Tour de France

We didn’t apply this year,” Bernaudeau told the French website Velochrono.fr. "I don’t have the means to be in the WorldTour. You need thirty riders and it means a very heavy race programme. I didn’t have the possibility to increase my budget and to sign extra riders. The sponsors trust me, they’re happy and there is no interference.”

Bernaudeau insisted his team was good enough to be in the WorldTour and is confident he will secure wild card invitations to key 2013 objectives.

"In sporting terms, our record is good and we are part of the 20 best teams in the world. We would have been accepted in World Tour," the Frenchman said on the Team Europcar website.

Refreshingly honest from Bernaudeau. I have a lot of time for Europcar, especially Little Tommy, and they have over-achieved over the years compared with teams with far greater budgets and/or WT status. They have more victories than any other ProConti team this season apart from (the surely soon-to-be-WT) Argos-Shimano, and more than 8 of the 18 WT teams (in fact, the French team's 21 victories is more than the combined total of Euskaltel, Lampre and Ag2r!).

They know their constraints; they aren't going to push themselves to the brink of bankruptcy for the sake of a podium position at a WorldTour race no-one will be watching (here's looking at you, Beijing) and will instead continue to challenge for polka-dots and French titles. Seems fair to me!
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    He shook his head sadly and told me that endemic drug use had compelled him to give up a promising career. "Even one small local race, prize was a salami, and I see doping!" - Tim Moore: Gironimo (Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy)

    Kvinto

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 10:29 »
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/bernaudeau-responds-to-europcar-worldtour-license-snub

    Last year it was a different story, happy that he's changed his mind though

    PS: And to be fair, all he really needs is the Tour and with Titi/Rolland he'll get it anyway
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    cj2002

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 11:33 »
    I hadn't realised that... so yes, doubly happy that he's changed his mind. And you're right, he won't be short of wildcard entries, so he can pick and choose a WT race programme rather than being tied into races that he doesn't want/that don't suit his riders.

    And can you imagine ASO not inviting Voeckler to the Tour. The French would be revolting. And they'd kick up a fuss (ba-dum, tish, etc.).
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  • Blackbandit222

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 12:46 »
    Can't believe Coquard is only 5'7" 128 lbs
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  • Sagan supporter.

    LukasCPH

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 15:52 »
    Can't believe Coquard is only 5'7" 128 lbs
    How much is that in real money? ;)
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    LukasCPH

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 07:26 »
    Let's revive this thread.
    Feels bloody awesome to be able to post something Dan Craven-related in here: :D
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/q-and-a-with-dan-craven
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    DB-Coop

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 21:26 »
    Rolland: Now I’m convinced I can win a Grand Tour

    uh oh

    Is he going Giro-Vuelta this year, I mean he could be in contention for the Vuelta then.
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  • Flo

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 21:37 »
    Is he going Giro-Vuelta this year, I mean he could be in contention for the Vuelta then.

    Quintana, Rodriguez, Valverde and Contador will be at the Vuelta, don't think he can beat them
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #10 on: June 04, 2014, 21:57 »
    Quintana, Rodriguez, Valverde and Contador will be at the Vuelta, don't think he can beat them

    The thing is though, what impact will the Tour have on them? normally class 1 contenders that peek for the tour are only class 2 contenders at the Vuelta. Rolland if peaking at the Vuelta, being class 2 could beat those that are normally better than him that do the Tour. So basically Valverde and Contador should be about even with Rolland there. Then you have Purito who maybe does the tour as well after dropping out of the Giro do to injury, if he rides the Tour that is 3 he could with a bit of luck beat. Then there is just Quintana that is definitely better, but how many riders labeled GC contenders crashed out of the Giro? Horner if he doesn't ride the tour has potential to be class 1 contender too. Maybe it is time to put Uran in that group as well, but little TT km of the Vuelta should help Rolland.
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 22:05 »
    oh and btw shout out to Kevin Reza, I assume he will ride the tour again this year. Lets hope he claims a stage win, should be possible as strong as he is. Probably a homer pick but you have to believe in your fav' cyclist at the moment right.  :D
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  • search

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #12 on: June 04, 2014, 22:31 »
    Too funny ;)

    he was named as a potential Tour winner way before anyone was talking about Wiggins or Froome, let alone Hesjedal. He needs the parcours to be in his favor of course, and a bit of luck as well, but I don't think it would be too much of a surprise.

    He has what it needs, the talent - but more importantly the guts to do it. He will probably never be the best climber in the race, but if everything comes together he has the potential to gain massive time because of his riding style (à la de Gendt in the Giro 2012)
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    L'arri

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #13 on: September 04, 2014, 10:30 »
    Not really news and it may indeed be premature, but I want to register my great pleasure at Europcar's apparent and still tentative rehabilitation of the lost hope of French cycling, Romain Sicard.

    Sicard won the Tour de l'Avenir and the rainbow jersey in 2009 and then surprised everyone by turning pro in Spain where he fell almost immediately into obscurity, during three empty, injury affected seasons at Euskaltel. In 2011, the French-Basque was arrested for the dreadful crime of stealing a traffic cone and being drunk. It was a terrible mistake and one which I have committed myself, albeit with impunity.

    Europcar almost certainly bought him super cheap after the demise of the orange team but he seems to have thrived this season as his solid support for Rolland in the Giro earned him a GC role at the Vuelta. Unfortunately a crash ended that particular hope but on the whole, we have begun to see a bit of consistency from the 26-year old. Perhaps he can build on that next season.
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    LukasCPH

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #14 on: September 04, 2014, 10:32 »
    In 2011, the French-Basque was arrested for the dreadful crime of stealing a traffic cone and being drunk. It was a terrible mistake and one which I have committed myself, albeit with impunity.
    Which one, being drunk or stealing traffic cones?! :lol
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #15 on: September 04, 2014, 10:33 »
    Which one, being drunk or stealing traffic cones?! :lol

    Um, both. :( :S

    I was still young enough to think it was funny, which was certainly a bit younger than Sicard at the time. ;)
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #16 on: October 17, 2014, 19:30 »
    http://www.lequipe.fr/Cyclisme-sur-route/Actualites/Europcar-arrete-fin-2015/507387

    Europcar to stop sponsoring the team at the end of 2015.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #17 on: October 18, 2014, 08:59 »
    This is extremely bad news for the team

    the team is doing really poorly at the moment, and much of their cash went to sign the young sprinter

    ETTV is looking a lost cause, even his tongue movement and facial expressions seem less.

    Roland did well this year, no wins but worked on GTs well

    and the rest the young Basque showed he could super dom at an high level and that's it

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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

    Leadbelly

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #18 on: October 18, 2014, 09:31 »
    What's the situation with Sojasun? Are they moving across with Cannondale in the Garmin merger? Maybe they could be interested in a year's time to (co-)sponsor a pro-continental team again. Going back to PCT would seem the way forward to me anyway.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #19 on: October 18, 2014, 10:27 »
    No idea re Sojasun

    stepping back makes sense to me too, but not too pro-conti but Div 2, and for that they need to be solid 2016
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  • DB-Coop

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #20 on: October 18, 2014, 10:35 »
    No idea re Sojasun

    stepping back makes sense to me too, but not too pro-conti but Div 2, and for that they need to be solid 2016

    As far as I understood pro conti can get wild cards, if that is the case then being div 2 seems pretty pointless
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #21 on: October 20, 2014, 08:07 »
    being div 2 seems pretty pointless
    You've summed up the UCI's reform model. ;)
    I think D2 teams will be certain of min. 1 GT wildcard, but apart from that it is pointless.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #22 on: October 20, 2014, 15:49 »
    I was very disappointed to read the news about Europcar.

    This short-termism in our sport is crippling. I would like to know if this was another case of "limited objectives" or just plain old dissatisfaction with RoI.

    Bernaudeau has time to find something and I'm sure he will because, as the CN story pointed out, he has a little more to shout about than merely "Voeckler lives here". Just as well, since TV is now wending his way to the glue factory, collarbone or not.

    Likely it'll be another French sponsor though. JRB never seems to bother casting his net beyond the Hexagon.

    Lot of goodwill for cycling from Sojasun, which simply couldn't afford a headline sponsorship and only stepped in when Saur pulled out. I doubt it can afford to step up now either.
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  • just some guy

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    L'arri

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #24 on: August 26, 2015, 11:04 »
    https://twitter.com/Cycling_Lars/status/636470113428992000

    ... though not much of a team, one suspects, but it is good news for Coquard if he is staying, for he may get to enjoy a train.

    Perhaps Sicard will also stay and get some more support in the mountains. However, for any other empty spots opening up, we can expect the habitual musical chairs between the French teams.

    This season was also a watershed, I think, as the first where Voeckler no longer represents the big cash cow for Bernaudeau.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Europcar news thread
    « Reply #25 on: December 01, 2015, 23:34 »
    http://www.ouest-france.fr/sport/cyclisme/cyclisme-luci-demande-des-explications-bernaudeau-3881743 (in *fr)

    According to the article, the team has called up its bank guarantee as Colnago hadn't paid their last tranche of sponsor money after Rolland criticised the frames during the Tour.
    A court decision is expected 14th December, and the whole situation naturally puts the team's 2016 in jeopardy - with Ouest France calling it "the sword of Damocles hanging over Bernaudeau's head".
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Direct Energie news thread
    « Reply #26 on: January 18, 2016, 09:46 »
    Guess we'll change the OP icon when possible but until then ...

    Look out for Thomas Boudat this season.

    He fairly destroyed the Omnium in Hong Kong last weekend, was 2014 World Champion in the discipline and should do well in Rio.



    The youngster from the southern Gironde region of France completed a more or less full road season in 2015 and managed a sprint win at the inaugural Classica Corsica.

    If he continues to develop on the road in the future, he looks like being a decent sprinter in the Coquard mould.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Direct Energie news thread
    « Reply #27 on: April 01, 2016, 10:34 »
    This is a marvellous little video, if you ever wondered how team car graphics are done, not least because it was a white car originally:

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  • Leadbelly

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    L'arri

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    Re: Direct Energie news thread
    « Reply #29 on: January 22, 2018, 10:46 »
    However there's been no win for Direct Energie yet down in Gabon. They've ruled the roost the past few years there, so noting other than Gaudin's GC podium is a bit of a surprise.

    A presage for their 2018?

    The quote above gives us an opportunity to reopen this thread, during the silence of which much has happened with Bernaudeau's team.

    After what must count as a stellar season for the Vendée outfit, Voeckler and Coquard, the team's talismen (sic) at either end of the generational spectrum, are both gone and their replacements are harder to identify.

    Since his relatively late pro début, almejane has really matured and surely he represents what glitter remains, along with old dependables Chavanel and Hivert. No doubt Bernaudeau hopes for a renaissance from Gaudin, who will be keen to re-establish himself at a higher level after his fire-in-the-belly season at Continental level, and Taaramae who returns to Pro-Conti French cycling after three patchy seasons in the World Tour.

    It's hard to be too optimistic however. While an additional team in the form of Vital Concept should mean great news for French cycling, the homegrown talent is now spread almost as thinly as the sponsors, while competition for wildcards is hotter than ever.

    And Direct Energie lacks winners. Boudat is not Coquard, not yet at least, and Petit remains a work in progress. Hivert, Chavanel and Calmejane might deliver some results but there are no other obvious standouts here.

    As LB suggests above, the Amissa Bongo normally accounts for something on DE's list of highlights every year but one wonders whether their empty-handed return is a sign of harder times.
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