Cofidis' top rider will be removed from the Tour de France after signing with Team Visma | Lease a Bike

A story reminiscent of the 2000's. It is not unheard of in modern cycling but it is a very unusual story. Axel Zingle of Cofidis is set to join Team Visma | Lease a Bike for 2025 and because of this the team is said to be punishing him by removing him from the Tour de France list.

At 25 years of age, Zingle is one of the most prominent classics riders in the French scene, having led the French cup for some time this year and being one of the most successful as well. The French rider made his debut at the Tour de France last year after winning the Classic Loire Atlantique and finishing among the first in many other races, and this year he has taken another step.

Zingle is currently 61st in the UCI Rankings and is the best placed rider out of everyone in the team. This comes as a result of his consistent string of results including a second place at the Tour de la Provence, Lotto Famenne Ardenne Classic, GP du Morbihan, Circuit de Wallonie, Circuit Franco-Belge and victory at the Boucles de l'Aulne, among other results. Currently, he is training at altitude, preparing for the national championships - where he will be a big favourite - and the Tour de France.

But the Tour is anything but assured, and according to France's L'Equipe Zingle will be pulled out from the Tour unless he wins the national championships in France. Naturally, with the country's colours on his chest and great form, Zingle would be an obvious choice for Cofidis and perhaps even their best chance of taking success. But if he does not win, it seems like he will be left at home in July as a consequence for not staying in the team.

L'Équipe reports that Bahrain-Victorious, Movistar, Soudal Quick-Step, UAE Team Emirates and INEOS Grenadiers all looked to sign the rider, but Visma ultimately has already agreed on a three-year deal which will be public once the transfer season begins.

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