The French Cofidis team on Friday announced an end to its self-imposed three-week exile from competition, saying its riders would return to racing in Wednesday’s start of the Four Days of Dunkirk..
Cofidis’ decision to suspend racing, prompted in part by a sacked rider’s stinging doping revelations, cost world champion David Millar the chance to make his international track debut at the World Cup in Manchester. It also kept the team from taking part in the recent series of World Cup classics.
“This exceptional break allowed the sponsor time to reflect on the team’s future and its investment in the sport,” Cofidis announced in a statement.
“Today the company is in a position to announce that it is allowing the team to resume competition. And so the Cofidis riders will restart on May 5” in the Dunkirk event.
During its absence, Cofidis lost world road race champion Igor Astarloa, who cut short his contract to join the Italian Lampre team in an amicable separation.
The claims of doping leveled by Philippe Gaumont have been dismissed as wild by Millar and as lies by Cofidis’ managers, Alain Deloeuil and Alain Bondue. The French police have nevertheless launched an inquiry with eight people under investigation. –Copyright 2004/AFP