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Cofidis to launch women’s team in 2022

French squad to launch new women's team to better reflect the demographic of its backing business.

Cofidis will be stepping into the women’s peloton in 2022.

Team president Thierry Vittu confirmed Friday that his long-running French outfit will be adding a women’s team to its men’s WorldTour team and para-cycling team next season.

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“Something is missing. We have a men’s pro team and a para-cycling team, and they reflect a good part of what the Cofidis company is, but it’s a group of 5,500 people in which the majority are women,” Vittu said.

“We will have a women’s team as part of the Cofidis group from 2022. It won’t be this year because we need time to put it together and gather the resources, but in 2022 we will certainly have one.”

Vittu spoke during an online presentation Friday as he officially revealed the Cofidis team lineups for 2021. This coming season will be the 24th year that French financial firm Cofidis has backed the squad, which has ducked in and out of the WorldTour through its long history.

The addition of a women’s team in 2022 will see Cofidis join the likes of Movistar, Astana, Trek-Segafredo, BikeExchange, and most recently, Jumbo-Visma, in running a male and female program. UCI rules will prevent Cofidis from stepping directly into the Women’s WorldTour, and like Jumbo-Visma, the new squad will have to race at ProTeam level in its debut season.

The news of Cofidis’ forthcoming move into women’s racing comes amid growing momentum behind the sport, with the inaugural women’s Paris-Roubaix set to run this April, and the possibility of a first-ever women’s Tour de France in 2022.