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“The chance to extend Romain’s contract has resulted from the renegotiation of our partnership with Ag2r La Mondiale. He’s a rider for the future and we plan to be with him as long as possible,” Lavenu said.

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AG2R CITROEN TEAM

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CARLOS ALBERTO BETANCUR

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JAN BAKELANTS

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JEAN-CHRISTOPHE PÉRAUD

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JOHAN VAN SUMMEREN

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ROMAIN BARDET

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03.10.2014 @ 20:17 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Full of praise for their Tour de France captains, Ag2r-La Mondiale team manager Vincent Lavenu expressed his recognition of their work, immediately offering Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet long contract extensions after he secured title sponsor’s commitment until the end of 2018.

 

Lavenu admitted, that securing Ag2r La Mondiale commitment to his outfit provides him with great amount of flexibility and an opportunity to make long-term plans for the future.

 

“Enabling us to look forward to the future with serenity and to build a solid squad in future years.”

 

Coming into details, the French squad manager plans to build the team around young countryman Bardet, in whom he sees a future Grand Tour winner and whose contract he has extended until the end of 2018 season.

 

Lavenu has also extended Peraud’s contract, who enjoyed the best season of his professional career as a road cyclist this year, highlighted by the runner-up spot at the Tour de France.

 

“To a degree this is recognition of the work they’ve achieved,” Lavenu told L’Équipe. “The chance to extend Romain’s contract has resulted from the renegotiation of our partnership with Ag2r La Mondiale. He’s a rider for the future and we plan to be with him at the top level for as long as possible.”

 

Ag2r La Mondiale manager also confirmed that bringing Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma – Quick Step) and Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) is a part of his long-team plans. Lavenu admitted to be full of praise for a versatility of the former, while the latter should significantly strengthen the squad for the Flemish classics.

 

“He’s a multi-talented and all-round rider, he’s got a very high level and is going to bring a lot to the team,” said Lavenu. “As for Vansummeren, he’s got a very interesting profile. He’s already won Paris-Roubaix and is the kind of rider who will raise our level at the Flemish Classics. He is also capable of shining on all terrains.”

 

He also revealed that, unsurprisingly, making final decision in regards to Carlos Betancur was his biggest concern throughout the whole 2014 season. However, Lavenu eventually decided to give the talented Colombian the last chance after the rider acknowledged his mistakes and apologized to the team.

 

“There was a big clash. He made a mistake,” said Lavenu. “But after a very long discussion, he apologised and we’ve decided to start over from zero. For now, we’ve decided to respect his contract. But we won’t have another crisis like that.”

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