AG2R La Mondiale targeting stage wins with Santos Tour Down Under team
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

AG2R La Mondiale targeting stage wins with Santos Tour Down Under team

by Ben Atkins at 5:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
French squad already taking aim at 2014 WorldTour season

maxime bouetWith its start now less than two months away, AG2R La Mondiale has announced its seven-man line up for January’s Santos Tour Down Under. The French team took very little from the 2013 edition of the Australian WorldTour opener, with Belarus sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich’s ninth place on the final stage its best result, but will be targeting stage victories in this year’s event.

“The pro cycling team AG2R La Mondiale will be led by Maxime Bouet (pictured), who will aim to finish in the top ten overall,” said directeur sportif Laurent Biondi. “We will also focus on stage wins. Maxime Daniel and Sebastien Turgot will be our trump cards in sprint finishes.

“We should also have good opportunities in more hilly stages where the overall classification will be played out.”

Daniel and Gaudin are all new to AG2R La Mondiale, with the former joining from the folding Sojasun team and the latter from Europcar, and the Australian race will see their first appearance in the team’s colours. The slightly earlier, and far warmer, start to Gaudin’s season could well help to prepare the big man from the western Loire valley for the Classics; giving him a good base with which to try to better his fifth place from this year’s Paris-Roubaix.

Of the seven riders to take part in the 2013 edition, only 26-year-old Guillaume Bonnafond will be returning in 2014. Sébastien Turgot will be another making his first appearance in AG2R La Mondiale colours, having also transferred from Europcar. Julien Berard and Axel Domont complete the team’s all-French line up.

“Maxime Bouet is an all-rounder and he’s particularly good on rolling terrain with short, sharp climbs,” race director Mike Turtur said. “His 2013 season included a third place overall in the Giro del Trentino, tenth in the Tour of Oman and seventh in the Critérium International.

“The varied terrain across the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under route will appeal to Bouet and the Ag2r lineup and I’m sure we’ll see dynamic performances from this experienced group of riders.”

AG2R La Mondiale team for the Santos Tour Down Under
Julien Berard, Guillaume Bonnafond, Maxime Bouet, Maxime Daniel, Axel Domont, Damien Gaudin, Sébastien Turgot

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