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"He is our unique leader for the 2015 Vuelta. We expect him to be in the GC top 5 because the 2015 route seems to adequately suit him. Obviously, it won’t be easy for us because the Vuelta lineup looks incredibly good."

Photo: Sirotti

AG2R CITROEN TEAM

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ALEXIS GOUGEARD

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NEWS

DOMENICO POZZOVIVO

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NEWS

GEDIMINAS BAGDONAS

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

JOHAN VAN SUMMEREN

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NEWS

MATTEO MONTAGUTI

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

MIKAEL CHEREL

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RINALDO NOCENTINI

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SEBASTIEN MINARD

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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19.08.2015 @ 15:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After he crashed out of the Giro d'Italia, Domenico Pozzovivo will lead Ag2r in the Vuelta a Espana where he targets a top 5 result.

 

Pozzovivo will be supported by Rinaldo Nocentini, Mikael Cherel, Blel Kadri and Matteo Montaguti in the mountains while he can rely on Johan Vansummeren, Alexi Gougeard, Gediminas Bagdonas and Sebastien Minard in the flat stages.

 

There was no room for Carlos Betancur who has been scheduled to do the race but his condition has again been deemed insufficient to take on the challenge.

 

“It is never easy to be successful when the end of the season approaches," sports director Julien Jurdie said. "However, our Vuelta squad is an impressive one with a wide variety of riders. We can definitely hope a GC top 5 for Domenico Pozzovivo. The entire team will ride for him."

 

Below Jurdie gives his opinion about every single rider in the team.

 

Gediminas Bagdonas (Lit)
29 years old 
First Grand Tour 
"It is his first Grand Tour in his career. His main mission - like Sebastien and Johan - will be to protect Domenico on the flat stages. He perfectly knows his domestique job. He could also ride among the best sprinters for a top 10 or even a better result."
 

Mikaël Cherel (Fra) 
29 years old
4th participation
"He will have many important duties. First of all he will have to assist Domenico as far as possible on the mountain stages. Then he will need to find the successful breakaways. It’s his second Grand Tour of the season so he has the proper experience. He is also an efficient rider with a real team spirit." 
 
Alexis Gougeard (Fra)

22 years old
First Grand Tour 
"Here is our fighter! We will need to channel his energy during the three weeks of competition. He is young and that is why he is here to learn how to manage a Grand Tour. We are counting on him for the team time trial and for the medium mountains stages. His help will be valuable."

 

Blel Kadri (Fra)
28 years old
Third participation
"He did a good training session at high altitude at Font Romeu. He is constantly improving and when he is at his best, he is a terrific climber. His main goal will be to assist Domenico. He also knows how to choose the successful breakaways."

Sébastien Minard (Fra)

33 years old
Fifth participation
"He is our second "lieutenant". He will have an essential role in protecting Domenico on the transitional stages and during the sprints. He particularly appreciates his mission and utterly knows how to do his job." 
 

Matteo Montaguti (Ita)
31 years old
Fourth participation
"He is a great man with a lot of experience who suits Domenico down to the ground. He is a real teammate who has the sense of duty. He could assist Domenico on almost every stage".

 

Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita)
37 years old
Seventh participation 

"Here is our road captain. He will have to manage the young riders but also Domenico in the difficult moments. Moreover, he is a clever and experienced rider who can win a stage."

 

Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita)
31 years old
Fourth participation
Best place : 6th (2013)
"He is our unique leader for the 2015 Vuelta. We expect him to be in the GC top 5 because the 2015 route seems to adequately suit him. Obviously, it won’t be easy for us because the Vuelta lineup looks incredibly good this year. However, we know he is in great shape after his long stay at high altitude. This is exciting; I cannot wait to start the competition with him."

 

Johan Vansummeren (Bel)
34 years old
Sixth participation 
"The team is built around Domenico and Johan will have to protect him from the wind on the flat stages. He has the warrior spirit and can inspire his teammates to never give up."

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