Cofidis' season was left in disarray during March's Paris-Nice when Andrei Kivilev died after a horrific crash.
Manager: Alain Bondue
Best Tour: Snatched third place and the mountains prize in 1998
In 2001, the Kazakh rider had finished the Tour de France in fourth place and managed a less impressive 21st last time around.
But this time his team-mates will undoubtedly be doing their utmost to honour his memory with a string of successes.
The pressure looks likely to rest heavily on Britain's David Millar.
His ambitions may have been hit by a series of injury setbacks, but the Scot has long been tipped as a future winner, although he is under pressure to prove that right.
An impressive stage win failed to mask his disappointing form throughout the mountains, which led to him finishing 68th overall.
He has worn yellow before, following the prologue in 2000 and insists he is in the best condition of his life.
Last time around he was upstaged by team-mates David Moncoutie and Massimilano Lelli, who were 13th and 14th overall.
Both riders looked impressive and could lead the team's ambitions should Millar fail to deliver once again.
Belgian Nico Mattan provides further experience and world class to the team line-up.
Team boss Alain Bondue has stuck to his guns, adding just two further riders while not off-loading any big names.
Cofidis are now in their seventh season, and are still well known as the team which let Lance Armstrong go.
Their greatest success in the race so far has fallen to another American, Bobby Julich, but his form fell away following his 1998 third place.