French team Sojasun awarded wild card for 2013 Tour de Suisse, 21. March 2013

The UCI Professional Continental Team Sojasun has been awarded a wild card to compete in the 77th Tour de Suisse. 

The professional cycling team from France consists of 23 riders and is managed by former French road racing champion, Stéphane Heulot. 

“The Sojasun Team is an exciting addition to the line-up and we’re looking forward to the Sojasun riders making a dynamic contribution to the race,” says Rolf Huser, Business and Sports Director of the Tour de Suisse, on the award of the race’s second wild card. 

The team which is based in Noyal-Châtillon-sur-Seiche was formed in 2009 with the name of Besson Chaussures-Sojasun. Initially the team competed with a Continental Team licence and mainly took part in UCI Europe Tour races. In 2010, though, not only was the team granted a Professional Continental Team licence, it also recruited the water company, Saur, as a sponsor. With Saur on board, the team then competed under the name of Saur-Sojasun. However, this season Saur has stepped down and Sojasun, a manufacturer of foodstuffs produced from soya beans, is now the team’s sole main sponsor. 

The French Sojasun Team had a fantastic 2012 season with 17 wins, including stage wins in the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie and overall wins in the Four Days of Dunkirk and the Etoile de Bessèges. The team has also taken part twice in the Tour de France. The General Manager, Stéphane Heulot, is planning to deliver an outstanding performance in the top flight of professional cycling and is supported in his task by Sports Directors Nicolas Guille, Lylian Lebretion and Gilles Pauchard. The 23 riders that have signed to the team are all French, except for Lithuanian, Evaldas Šiškevicius. Among the team’s top performers are Julien Simon, who was Sojasun’s most successful rider last year with five wins, the new acquisition, Evaldas Šiškevicius, Jimmy Engoulvent, Brice Feillu and Jonathan Hivert. 

“The Sojasun Team will rank itself on a par with the UCI WorldTour teams and IAM Cycling, and I think it’s entirely possible for riders such as Julien Simon and Jonathan Hivert to achieve a stage win,” ex-cycling pro Rolf Huser adds confidently.