Sylvain Chavanel moving to QuickStep
France’s biggest cycling star Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis has agreed a two-year deal with the Belgian QuickStep team, it was confirmed in Bourg-d’Oisans Thursday.
Cofidis manager Eric Boyer said prior to the 18th stage of the Tour de France that his team leader had informed him earlier this week.
“I wished him good luck,” said Boyer, who is nevertheless disappointed to see the 29-year-old national time trial champion leave.
Chavanel came into this year’s Tour on a rich vein of form having claimed two prestigious victories in one-day Flemish races considered to be ‘semi-classics’, as well as a stage in Paris-Nice. Chavanel has been involved in numerous breakaways and attempts to win a stage at the Tour this year but has so far failed.
The Frenchman’s move to QuickStep means he will link up with Belgian star Tom Boonen, a one-day race specialist who is the Tour’s reigning green jersey champion for the race’s points competition.
Boonen, a double Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix winner, is not racing at the Tour following a positive test for cocaine in late May.
Chavanel is the third rider to leave Cofidis. Belgian Nick Nuyens will sign for Rabobank while his compatriot Kevin De Weert is also joining QuickStep.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008