News: AG2R La Mondiale returns with eye on stage wins


French favourites Ag2r La Mondiale will return to the Santos Tour Down Under with a strong team aiming for stage wins.

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Ag2r, the only team to have competed every year since the Santos Tour Down Under began, today announced the seven-man roster heading to South Australia in January. Explosive climber Maxime Bouet will lead the lineup, with compatriots Maxime Daniel and Sebastien Turgot focused on pushing to the front in sprint finishes. Santos Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said Ag2r was popular with fans and consistently delivered strong results.

“Maxime Bouet is an all-rounder and he’s particularly good on rolling terrain with short, sharp climbs,” Mr 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 sports director Laurent Biondi said the team is looked forward to competing. “The pro cycling team AG2R La Mondiale will be led by Maxime Bouet, who will aim to finish in the top ten overall,” Mr Biondi said. “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.”

The Ag2r La Mondiale team for the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by Laurent Biondi and includes riders:
Julien Berard (FRA)
Guillaume Bonnafond (FRA)
Maxime Bouet (FRA)
Maxime Daniel (FRA)
Axel Domont (FRA)
Damien Gaudin (FRA)
Sébastien Turgot (FRA)

The Race
The 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 19 to 26 January 2014. On Sunday 19 January the world’s cycling elite will contest an exciting 50km circuit race, the People’s Choice Classic, as the curtain raiser for the six stage Santos Tour Down Under being raced over a total distance of 875km.

Sunday 19 January – People’s Choice Classic – Victoria Drive, Adelaide (50km)
Monday 20 January – Rest day
Tuesday 21 January – Stage 1 – Nuriootpa to Angaston (135km)
Wednesday 22 January – BikeExchange Stage 2 – Prospect to Stirling (150km)
Thursday 23 January – Stage 3 – Norwood to Campbelltown (145km)
Friday 24 January – Bupa Stage 4 – Unley to Victor Harbor (148.5km)
Saturday 25 January – Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Sunday 26 January – Stage 6 – Adelaide (95km)

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