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Ag2r goes into the Tour with the aim of placing two riders in the top 15, winning a stage and winning the teams classification

Photo: AG2R LA MONDIALE / Kramon

AG2R CITROEN TEAM

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BEN GASTAUER

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CHRISTOPHE RIBLON

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JEAN-CHRISTOPHE PÉRAUD

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MATTEO MONTAGUTI

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MIKAEL CHEREL

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ROMAIN BARDET

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SAMUEL DUMOULIN

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SEBASTIEN MINARD

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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30.06.2014 @ 14:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having already selected 8 riders, Ag2r-La Mondiale have finalized their roster for the Tour de France after last weekend's national championships. The final spot was taken by Matteo Montaguti and the team will go into the race with the aim of placing both Romain Bardet and Jean-Christophe Peraud in the top 15, take a stage win and win the teams classification.

 

All year Ag2r-La Mondiale have been planning to line up at the Tour de France with three riders for the GC. Jean-Christophe Peraud, Romain Bardet and Carlos Betancur have all had La Grande Boucle as their big season target and initially all were aiming for a high overall result.

 

When the team announced the names of 8 of the 9 riders that will make up the roster, it was officially confirmed that they are down to 2 riders for the overall standings. After he had failed to return to Europe as planned, it was revealed that Carlos Betancur is suffering from cytomegalovirus and he won't make his debut at the Tour as originally planned.

 

Instead, it will be up to Bardet and Peraud to lead the charge and both line up at the race on the back of highly successful season. Bardet made his debut 12 months ago, finishing 15th as best Frenchman, and this year he has continued his progress by taking 4th in the Volta a Catalunya and 5th in the Criterium du Dauphiné.

 

For Peraud, it will be time to take revenge after he crashed out of last year's race at a time where he seemed poised for his second top 10 finish in the world's biggest race. This year he has been better than ever before, finishing 4th in Tirreno-Adriatico, 3rd in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and winning the Criterium International overall.

 

Already early in the season, it was announced that the pair will be joined by Christophe Riblon who won last year's stage to Alpe d'huez and will again be in search of stage wins. Five additional riders were selected two weeks ago. Samuel Dumoulin will try to use his punchy sprinting skills to take his second stage victory in the race while climber Mikael Cherel has been selected on the back of a strong Dauphiné showing.

 

Sebastien Minard has a strong reputation as a domestique for the flat stages and has made the roster together with attacker Blel Kadri. Finally, Ben Gastauer will make his debut at the race after showing some really good climbing legs in the Dauphiné and finishing on the podium in both the Luxembourg road race and time trial championships.

 

Yesterday the team selected the final spot on the roster which was taken by Matteo Montaguti who will make his debut in the race. The Italian recently did the Giro d'Italia in support of Domenico Pozzovivo but proved to be in great condition with a solid performance in the Italian road race championships.

 

In the official announcement, the team clarifies its goals. First of all they want to place both Peraud and Bardet in the top 15 and one of them has to make the top 10. Furthermore, the team will ride aggressively in an attempt to win a stage while the final objective is the teams classification which they won in the Giro.

 

“These 9 riders will, I am sure, once again embody the values of solidarity and performance which are those of AG2R LA MONDIALE in this beautiful race that is the Tour de France," Ag2r general manager Yvon Breton said. "The 7600 employees of the Group, proud of their team, will support them throughout this very popular event. I wish them every success and I invite them to make us live great moments of joy and emotion."

 

Ag2r for the Tour de France:

Romain Bardet, Jean-Christophe Peraud, Mikael Cherel, Christophe Riblon, Samuel Dumoulin, Ben Gastauer, Blel Kadri, Sebastien Minard and Matteo Montaguti

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