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Nacer Bouhanni sprinted to victory in the second...

French sprinter Bouhanni leads Cofidis charge

Cofidis bets on French sprint star Nacer Bouhanni for Tour de France and brings a team tailored for the mass gallops

PARIS (AFP) — Cofidis has built its Tour de France ambitions almost entirely around the great French sprint hope Nacer Bouhanni.

Bouhanni won two stages of the Vuelta a España and three on the Giro d’Italia last year, and now, the Pro Continental squad has recruited the 24 year-old and is banking on his growing talent.

His lead-out man is Geoffrey Soupe, and much of the team will function as a sprint train, notably debutant Florian Senechal and Christophe Laporte.

The one notable climber in the group is former Alberto Contador domestique Dani Navarro, who came ninth in the 2013 Tour.

The Tour de France begins in Utrecht in The Netherlands on July 4 and finishes in Paris on July 26.

Cofidis Tour de France team

Nacer Bouhanni (F), Nicolas Edet (F), Christophe Laporte (F), Luis Ángel Maté (Sp), Dani Navarro (Sp), Florian Sénéchal (F), Geoffrey Soupe (F), Julien Simon (F). Kenneth Van Bilsen (B) or Cyril Lemoine (F) — to be determined prior to Tour.