Monday, November 6, 2023 at 3:20 PM
Ben Hermans and Kenny Elissonde will play for Cofidis next year. The 37-year-old Belgian comes from Israel-Premier Tech and signs for one season, the five-year-younger Elissonde leaves Lidl-Trek and has also signed until the end of 2024.
Ben Hermans previously made no secret of the fact that he will leave Israel-Premier Tech at the end of the year. The experienced driver has had two difficult years, during which he first suffered from the consequences of long Covid and then from a hip and elbow fracture, sustained in a crash in the recent Tour de Wallonie. However, Hermans also showed promising things this season and did not yet feel like hanging up his racing bike.
“I still have a lot of experience that I can bring to a team. I understand that many teams have doubts because I have raced so little, but I can guarantee that my results in training and motivation are higher than ever. Hopefully I can still secure a place in the peloton in 2024,” he said in an interview with WielerFlits in October.
And his search for a new employer has yielded results, as he is now employed by Cofidis. “I am extremely grateful to the team for this new opportunity,” a happy Hermans said in a press release. “I have shown in the past that I am a complete rider. I want to give myself completely to my new teammates and – if necessary – try my own luck. I would like to realize the team’s ambitions.”
Kenny Elissonde in the Lidl-Trek outfit – photo: Cor Vos
Kenny Elissonde is therefore the other asset for Cofidis. After three seasons at Sky and four seasons at Lidl-Trek, the little climber returns to the French nest. Elissonde started his career at FDJ. “I am happy to take on this new challenge. I am a climber with a preference for stage races. I can’t wait to work in a new way. I have spoken several times during my career with Cédric (team manager Cédric Vasseur, ed.) and the riders within the team.”
By attracting Hermans and Elissonde, Cofidis is ready for the transfer market. The French formation will start the new season next year with exactly thirty riders. There are no fewer than twelve newcomers, including – in addition to Hermans and Elissonde – Aimé De Gendt, Alexis Gougeard, Gorka Izagirre and Ludovic Robeet. Twelve drivers are looking for other places or putting an end to their career. This is the case for Jelle Wallays, Max Walscheid and Wesley Kreder, among others.