Ag2r La Mondiale names Jean-Christophe Péraud as team leader for the Tour de France
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ag2r La Mondiale names Jean-Christophe Péraud as team leader for the Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 7:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Blanco Pro Cycling narrows its squad down to thirteen riders, Mollema and Gesink included

Jean Christope PeraudAlthough four of the team’s nine riders remain to be selected, the Ag2r La Mondiale squad has confirmed that Jean Christophe Péraud will be its leader in the upcoming Tour de France.

The former mountain bike rider finished ninth in the 2011 Tour and this year has shown promising form. He was a stage winner and second overall in the Tour of the Mediterranean, then went on to place third in Paris-Nice, fifth in Critérium International and sixth in the Tour de Romandie.

He will be backed by compatriots Romain Bardet, Maxime Bouet, Samuel Dumoulin and Blel Kadri.

According to the team, the remainder of the squad will be finalised after the French national championships on June 23rd. It is unclear if this indicates that all nine riders on the team will be French, or if other nationalities could be amongst the four remaining places.

Meanwhile the Dutch Blanco pro cycling team has named thirteen riders which will be reduced to nine Tour participants after the Dutch national championships, which also takes place on June 23rd.

The shortlist includes GC riders Bauke Mollema and Robert Gesink, with the latter looking at doing another Grand Tour after dropping out of the Giro d’Italia after stage eighteen. He had ridden well early on the race but became sick and had drifted back to twelfth overall.

Mollema won stage two of the Tour de Suisse on Sunday and is a solid sixth overall.

Also on the shortlist are Lars Boom, Laurens ten Dam, Tom Leezer, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Mark Rensaw, Tom Jelte Slagter, Bram Tankink, David Tanner, Maarten Tjallingii, Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants.

Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said that the remaining races before the Tour will be used to determine which riders will compete in France.

“The differences between the riders are marginal. A great deal is more or less fixed as some riders focussed the whole season on the Tour de France, but it is important that the riders for the remaining spots in the selection are also in shape,” he said.

“Until the start we are still active in different races. We were active in the Critérium du Dauphiné and currently we are racing in Tour du Suisse, the Tour du Luxembourg and the Ster ZLM Toer. Those races are good to monitor the form and health of the riders in the pre-selection.”

The final lineup will be revealed after the Dutch championships.

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