Bernaudeau welcomes new squad additions
Jean-Réne Bernaudeau has confirmed that three riders from the Vendée U youth squad will be promoted to the Europcar senior team for the new season. The Europcar manager shared his thoughts on French duo Bryan Coquard and Morgan Lamoisson, and Eritrean star Natnael Berhane.
BRYAN COQUARD: The 20-year-old French track specialist is twice junior world champion in the Omnium (2009, 2010) and a former European Scratch champion (2009). This past season, Coquard became the French national champion in the Omnium, winning five of six events, before winning a silver medal at the London Olympics. On the road last year, Coquard won the GP de Plouay amateur event, the GP de Savenay, the GP Cristal Energie and the Champion des Pays de la Loire and Suisse Vendéenne races.
J-R.B on Bryan Coquard: "He's a rider that every team would have wanted to sign. He has a lot of charisma and can become a very great rider. He's a real breath of fresh air with his sense of emotion – both for the team but above all for cycling in general. He's a pure sprinter who also rides over the hills very well. He's well balanced. He will get his first chances for Europcar in the early races in the south of France. He's a fighter, he knows how to place himself in the final, and his acceleration is very interesting."
NATNAEL BERHANE: The 21-year-old from Eritrea is one of the great hopes of African cycling. In 2010, he won the Tour of Eritrea; in 2011, he became both the senior and junior African national road race champion, plus won stage six of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo race in Gabon; he has also twice won the African national team time trial for Eritrea (2011, 2012). Berhane has made a strong impression since joined the Vendée U youth team at the beginning of last season and now finds himself fast-tracked to the main Europcar squad.
J-R.B on Natnael Berhane: "He has enormous potential. We have taken him on from the Vendée so that he integrates with the rest of the team. He's one of the guys who will contribute to cycling's fresh beginning. He's a really good rider who has notched some good results – in particular in Belgium during the amateur Tour of Flanders, but also in Gabon where he beat Jérôme Pineau. He is perhaps lacking race awareness. But we're going to give him his chance to try and identify which races he can shine on the most, because he's still very much learning the ropes."
MORGAN LAMOISSON: The 24-year-old French sprinter won the Circuit des Plages Vendéennes race this year while winning stages along the way. He also won the Prix Souvenir André-Gislard. But his biggest result came in the Vélodrome where Lamoisson became the French national champion in the Madison event alongside his fellow Europcar team-mate Bryan Coquard.
J-R.B on Morgan Lamoisson: "He' a rider who boasts a lot of composure. We're not exactly sure how much he can progress but that is the point of his integration with the main squad. He starts his seasons well which is why we will try and draft him in as early as possible. It will be up to him to take advantage of this."