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Nacer Bouhanni signs for Arkea-Samsic as team aims to go WorldTour in 2020

Joe Robinson
2 Oct 2019

Brit Dan McLay also signs for Breton team building for cycling's top flight

Nacer Bouhanni will look to resurrect his career as he is named among a raft of riders to have signed for Arkea-Samsic. The temperamental sprinter was named among six new signings for the French ProContinental side as he moves from fellow French team Cofidis for 2020.

Bouhanni will be joined by Sport-Vlaanderen duo Benjamin Declercq and Christophe Noppe, Direct Energie's Thomas Boudat, CCC Team's Lukasz Owsian and Brit Dan McLay who rejoins the team from Education First.

Arkea-Samsic were long rumoured to be interested in acquiring Bouhanni, who had fallen out with his current team Cofidis. 

Originally joining Cofidis in 2015, Bouhanni was considered a coup for the ProContinental team considering his previous Grand Tour victories.

However, with the implementation of Cedric Vasseur as team manager in 2017, Bouhanni has fallen out of favour with the team having his leadership status taken away from him, with Christophe Laporte taking the reigns.

The rift between the two continued and has eventually seen Bouhanni move teams to Arkea-Samsic, a signing that the team manager Emmanuel Hubert believes can help it advance towards the WorldTour.

'In 2020 we want to be a WorldTour team. Nacer Bouhanni will be our number one sprinter. He has enormous qualities. He had two difficult years, he must regain confidence and create a complicity with his lead-out men,' said Hubert.

'We have re-signed Dan McLay, whom we know well to support him in the final straights; I think there is a good chemistry to find between the two. We aim to be competitive on several fronts.'

The Breton-based team are among a collection of ProContinental squads attempting to move into the WorldTour as it extends from 18 to 20 teams for 2020.

Currently, it is believed that Israel Cycling Academy will assume the licence of Katusha-Alpecin leaving Arkea-Samsic, Cofidis and Direct Energie as front runners for the final two slots.

Alongside the high-profile signing of Bouhanni, Arkea have also signed Nairo Quintana, Diego Rosa and Winner Anacona in a bid to secure a position in cycling's top flight.

However, sources have told Cyclist that it is still looking more likely that Cofidis and Direct Energie will granted WorldTour licences.

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