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"We aim to have a rider in the top 5, and two in the top 10. We would like to have another top performance in the teams classification, which we won in 2014. And of course we’d like to win a stage."

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AG2R CITROEN TEAM

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BEN GASTAUER

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JEAN-CHRISTOPHE PÉRAUD

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JOHAN VAN SUMMEREN

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MIKAEL CHEREL

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PATRICK GRETSCH

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ROMAIN BARDET

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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18.06.2015 @ 12:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

At the AG2R LA MONDIALE headquarters in Paris this morning, AG2R LA MONDIALE Pro Cycling Team general manager Vincent Lavenu announced seven of the nine riders who will compete in the Tour de France.

 

The team will be led by Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet who can count on support from Alexis Vuillermoz, Mikael Cherel and Ben Gastauer in the mountains. Patrick Gretsch and Johan Vansummeren have been selected to provide protection in the flat stages.

 

The selected riders are:

 

Romain Bardet (France) 
Age 24 
3rd Tour de France 
Placed 6th in 2014 
One win in 2015 (fifth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné) 
 
Words of Vincent Lavenu: 
“He’s a sure bet for the team for the general classification. He gets stronger every year and is among the best in the world in the stage races.”

 

Mikael Cherel (France) 
Age 29 
3rd Tour de France 
 
Words of Vincent Lavenu: 
"He’s a valuable team member and an experienced mountain rider. He plays an essential role in the mountain stages.”

 

Ben Gastauer (Luxembourg) 
Age 27 
2nd Tour de France 
21th in 2014 
Two wins in 2015 (first stage and general classification of the Tour du Haut Var)
 
Words of Vincent Lavenu: 
“He’s a model team member, capable of giving his all to support his leaders. Last year he played a key role in securing a win in the team classification.”

 

Patrick Gretsch (Germany) 
Age 28 
2nd Tour de France 
 
Words of Vincent Lavenu: 
“He’s a real rouleur, he was fourth in a time trial in the Giro this year. He’ll be an asset in the team time trial and will help protect our leaders in the flat stages.” 

 

Jean-Christophe Peraud (France) 
Age 38 
5th Tour de France 
2nd in 2014 
Two wins in 2015 (3rd stage and general classification of the Critérium International) 
 
Words of Vincent Lavenu: 
“Second in the 2014 Tour de France, that says it all. He’s an exceptional rider who is back at the top of his game.”

 

Johan Vansummeren, (Belgium) 
Age 34 
9th Tour de France 
30th in 2010 
 
Words of Vincent Lavenu: 
“His extensive experience is going to be a huge help for us. He has already proved himself at the highest level and will be an extremely valuable rider in the mountains.”

 

Alexis Vuillermoz, (France)
Age 27
2nd Tour de France
One win in 2015 (GP Plumelec)
 
Words of Vincent Lavenu: 
"A good climber with amazing abilities in the high mountains."
 

The last two riders will be announced on 29 June, after the national championships. Christophe Riblon, Samuel Dumoulin, Damien Gaudin, Sebastien Minard and Blel Kadri are among the candidates for those spots.

 

"We are putting together a great, well-rounded and ambitious team," Lavenu said. "We aim to have a rider in the top 5, and two in the top 10. We would like to have another top performance in the teams classification, which we won in 2014. And of course we’d like to win a stage. The last couple of weeks have proved our worth as a team and confirmed the value of the work we’ve done, particularly during our training camp at altitude at the Col du Lautaret (Hautes-Alpes). But we are all aware that the Tour is a unique test that is difficult and unforgiving, and one that must be undertaken with a generous amount of humility."
 

Two riders have had their contracts extended. They are Ben Gastauer, whose contract will expire at the end of the 2017 season, and Alexis Vuillermoz who will stay in the team until the end of the 2018 season.

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