Cofidis lean on experienced duo

Cofidis may have lost two of their most experienced riders, but they still think they can make an im

Cofidis may have lost two of their most experienced riders, but they still think they can make an im
With Britain's David Millar out of the Tour de France having been put under formal police investigation following his admission of having used the blood booster EPO, his French Cofidis squad will be led by Australian sprinter Stuart O'Grady and French climber David Moncouti. Of the non-inclusion of Millar, and also of another Cofidis rider, Cdric Vasseur, who is also under police investigation, Moncouti said: "It's simple. If they have cheated, then of course they shouldn't take part. With regards to Cdric, I'm not rushing to any conclusions. There is still the presumption of innocence." O'Grady will be active during the flatter first week of the race, while Moncouti, perhaps better known for his anti-doping stance rather than his results, will head the team in the mountains. "I'm going to try to do something in the mountains of the Massif Central," Moncouti said. "To feature in the overall classification will be difficult, as the level of opposition is very high. But I think I'll know quite early in the race if I'm going to be able to be well placed overall. "Our team of riders is a bit less experienced than the team last year, so it's logical that I should be the leader in the mountains." One of the Cofidis riders new to the team at the Tour this year is 24-year-old Jimmy Engoulvent. But what he lacks in experience, he should make up for in terms of enthusiasm. "When I started cycling, I never thought that I'd one day ride the Tour. I even had to telephone my team-mate Jimmy Casper to find out what I needed to pack in my suitcase for three weeks," said Engoulvent, whose longest race to date has only been 10 days. "I've matured and improved in stage racing this year. I've also done some good time trials and am getting better all the time in the mountains." Engoulvent's nerves were tested a little in the days leading up to the start of the race. On Thursday night his bike was stolen from outside the team mechanics' lorry. Bike sponsor Decathlon was able to replace it, but the young Frenchman will be hoping for better luck during the race.
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