French at heart but internationally known, AG2R La Mondiale has gained plenty of international experience over the last 20 years and they have definitely established themselves as a competitive working team in the peloton. Instead of a team full of older experience AG2R has put their investment in a young team to build on talent and wins over the next few seasons. With a plethora of young climbers amongst the group we may see some great mountain finishes from this French squad in 2013.
This year’s Tour Down Under will see some new faces from AG2R as Gemiinas Bagdonas (LIT) the all-round talent joins the squad from An Post – Sean Kelly and the Belarusian sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich joins from Francaise des Jeux.
The Tour Down Under AG2R confirmed team also includes:
Davide Appollonio (ITA) The Italian sprinter has transferred from Team Sky and has been a pro rider since 2010
Guillaume Bonnafond (FRA) The French climber was the overall winner of the climbers classification at the GP La Marseillaise.
Mikael Cherel (FRA) This climber fractured his pelvis during the 2012 TDF and will return in 2013 with hopes of a few stage wins.
Blel Kadri (FRA) An all-round rider had a rough year in 2012 with injuries and a severe crash in Paris-Nice meant that he was off the bike for 2 months.
Julian Kern (GER) This young 23 year old climber arrives from the Leopard Trek Continental Team where he had an impressive 2012 season including winning in Uberhern.
AG2R La Mondiale will be targeting more than the 5 wins they accumulated in 2013 but with so many young riders their lack of experience may let them down. But as they say, the proof is in the pudding, and they may be able to surprise us all on the day.