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2010 Ag2r la Mondiale Pro Tour Team
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 11/28/2009
2010 Ag2r la Mondiale Pro Tour Team

2010 Ag2r la Mondiale Team
Vincent Lavenu's Pro Tour squad returns after a successful 2009 campaign bolstered in numbers and new talent ready to make their mark in the new season

Though it's 5 victories in 2009 may not seem to many to constitute a successful year the team can celebrate 24 trips to the podium in near misses for a victory. The the team will more likely be remembered more for their a aggressiveness and presence in breaks as in the 14th stage pf the tour where Nicholas Roche escaped with a group of twelve and won the sprint for second only 18 seconds after Serguei Ivanov escaped in the final kilometers for the win over 5 minutes ahead of the peloton.

2009 Tour de France, stage 14: Nicolas Roche wins the sprint for 2nd over Roulston and Maaskant. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The real highlight of the young team for will be they spent on the front of the peloton in during he tour de France as they supported Italian team mate Rinaldo Nocentini in the yellow jersey of tour leader. If that were not enough the team led the rankiings for the week and finished in 4th on the final team classification as the top French team. Nocentini would finish 10th on the G.C.

A week in yellow at the tour de France for Ag2r la Mondiale's Rinaldo Nocentini, couldn't be happier. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

That alone would make any sponsor happy as TV around the world followed their team and the commentators called out the teams name as they led the peloton or appeared on the podium.

But it wasn't the first time that year that the Ag2r lads wore a leaders  jersey in a stage race. Slovene Tadej Valjavec took the yellow jersey at the tour of Switzerland and led the race until the final day where he lost over 3 minutes to Fabian Cancellara in the final stage time trial in Berne. One can't fault the rider or team who fought with great courage for the victory. We shouldn't have been too surprised by Tadej as he had led the team in the Giro d'Italia that year finishing in 9th place.

2009 Tour of Switzerland, Stage 7: A happy Tadej Valjavec after a tough stage, holds on to the yellow jersey for another round of kisses from the Swiss misses. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Vincent Lavenu has assembled an international squad of 28 riders (up 8 riders from 2009) from 7 countries for the coming season.  All the strongmen have returned to ride, Nocentini, Valjavec, Christophe Riblon, Ludovic Turpin, The Efimkin twins: Alexander & Vladimir, Martin Elmiger and John Gadret; along with veterans: Sébastien Hinault, Cyril Dessel and Luis Arrieta of Spain who will be useful guiding what is largely a young team with 7 riders under 25 years of age.

Over the off season Irish road champion Nicolas Roche was awarded the Eurosport Trophy for teh best young French rider or rider on a French team. The ranking is based on the number of miles to escape and the final ranking of each rider in events broadcast on Eurosport. This trophy rewards Nicolas Roche who stepped up attacks throughout the season and has confirmed the hopes placed in him by Vincent Lavenu. This year Roche won Irish road title and finished 2nd and 4th in stages during his first Tour de France.

Nicolas Roche and Rinaldo Nocentini caught in a pre stage interview in front of the Ag2r team bus. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Cyril Dessel Author
Cyril Dessel  has also been busy releasing his book this week on November 21rst. The book titled:
"Mes rêves en jaune au pays des Verts " (My dream of yellow in the land of Green) looks back on the career of Etienne, describing the rigours of the daily life of a top athlete and rider and his life on Ag2r la Mondiale. Cycling fans and riders will find the account filled with "professional advice". Several players from the world cycling are also involved in this book written in collaboration with writer Philippe Besson.

"Through the book, I encourage all young people to persevere and not get discouraged after failures. There are several interesting chapters for those seeking advice.I wanted to beautify the bike and especially that it is possible to wear the yellow jersey of the Tour by turning in a clen performance."

 "I wanted at any price for the book to be a picture of me, between simplicity, sympathy and relief. Those who know me will find me in this book, those who don't  will get to know me. The book is really my picture."
ed by Editions de Phénicie in France.

Ag2r la Mondiale 2010 Team Roster
Returning Riders
José Luis Arrieta (Spain - 38)
Guillaume Bonnafond (France - 22)
Cyril Dessel (France) - 35)
Hubert Dupont (France - 29)
Alexander Efimkin (Russia - 28)
Vladimir Efimkin (Russia - 28)
Martin Elmiger (Switzterland - 31)
John Gadret (France - 30)
Sébastien Hinault (France - 35)
Blel Kadri (France - 23)
Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukraine - 30)
Julien Loubet (France - 24)
René Mandri (Estonia - 25)
Lloyd Mondory (France - 27)
Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy - 32)
Christophe Riblon (France - 28)
Nicolas Roche (Ireland - 25)
Nicolas Rousseau (France - 26)
Gatis Smukulis (Latvia - 22)
Ludovic Turpin (France - 34)
Tadej Valjavec (Slovénia - 32)

New Arrivals:
Julien Berard (France - 22 ) 2009 : Chambéry Cyclisme *
Maxime Bouet (France - 23)  2009 : Agritubel
Dimitri Champion (France - 26)  2009 : Bretagne Schuller*
Ben Gastauer (Luxembourg - 22)  2009 : Chambéry Cyclisme*
Kristof Goddaert (Belgium - 23)   2009 : Topsport Vlaanderen
David Le Lay (France - 30)   2009 : Agritubel
Anthony Ravard (France  - 26)  -  2009 : Agritubel
Neo Pro* - U25

Team Management:
Général Manager: Vincent Lavenu
Directeur Sportifs :
Laurent Biondi
Julien Jurdie
Gilles Mas
Arturas Kasputis
Didier Jannel

Team website:
Ag2r la mondiale - Insurance Services
Technical Sponsors:
Bikes: BH France
Clothing: Biemme
Bidons & Massage: Elite
Wheels: Mavic
Tires: Michelin
Helmets: SPIUK
Pedals: TIME

About Groupe Ag2r laMondiale -
AG2R La Mondiale is a mutual system to cover all risks of human life, in respect of their founding values and principles of social economy. By uniting the two players gave birth to a new group that is characterized by comprehensive expertise in insurance and social protection of heritage and principles of action that combine economic performance and social commitment. With a total of € 13.3 billion of contributions for 8 million policyholders, AG2R La Mondiale is the 9th largest personal insurer in France.

2010 UCI Road Calendar - ProTour Schedule
2010 ProTour - UCI Registers 17 ProTour Teams

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