Transfer News: AG2R-La Mondiale signs two more, renews with eight others
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Transfer News: AG2R-La Mondiale signs two more, renews with eight others

by Ben Atkins at 11:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
French ProTour team consolidating team for coming years

christophe riblonFrench ProTour team AG2R-La Mondiale has announced the signing of two new riders for 2011; it has also confirmed that eight of its existing riders have extended their contracts through 2011.

Mathieu Perget joins the team from Caisse d’Epargne, for whom he has ridden since turning professional in 2006. The 25-year-old’s biggest result to date has been victory in the 2009 Tour du Limousin; he was very active in last month’s Tour de France, and finished in 5th place on stage 7 to Station des Rousses.

Perget has signed a two-year contract with Vincent Lavenu’s team; he was one of only five Frenchmen at Caisse d’Epargne this year, despite the sponsor being a French bank.

The second new signing is Romain Lemarchand, currently riding for Continental team BigMat-Auber 93. The 23-year-old was the French under-23 time trial champion in 2009 and has had a solid season this year riding in mostly French domestic races. His biggest result so far has been ninth in the Tro-Bro Léon, the Breton race that traverses a number of unsurfaced farm tracks.

In addition to the new signings, the French team has also extended the contracts of a number of its existing riders. Guillaume Bonnafond, Martin Elmiger, John Gadret, Blel Kadri and Rinaldo Nocentini have all extended to the end of 2012, while Cyril Dessel, Sébastien Hinault and Yuriy Krivtsov have all extended to the end of 2011.

Nicolas Roche, who finished 15th in the Tour de France, Hubert Dupont and Christophe Riblon, the winner of Tour de France stage 14 to Ax-3-Domaines, already have contracts to the end of 2012.

AG2R-La Mondiale has arguably been the best French team this year, largely due to its performance in the tour de France. As well as Roche’s 15th place and Riblon’s stage win, Gadret finished as top French rider in 19th place.

It was not without controversy however, as Gadret famously refused to give his wheel to Roche after the Irishman punctured on the tough climb to the Port de Balès. Gadret’s refusal, as well as his acceleration as Roche was trying to regain the group of leaders, cost Roche a few places on the overall classification; it’s not clear whether the two riders will both be on the Tour team next year.

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