Since Monday, the AG2R LA MONDIALE team has been training in Vaujany (Isère), which is in the heart of the mountainous Oisans region in France. They will be there until Thursday. The goal of this “no bikes” training camp is to take part in alternative activities such as cross-country skiing, as well as to hold numerous meetings for the riders, the staff and the technical partners of the team. This gives them the chance to refine the program for every rider. As a result, the main structure of Romain Bardet’s program has now been established. He will definitely take part in the Tour de France, but will not be at the Giro d’Italia, the possibility of which had been under consideration for some time now.
“It’s always great to meet at this training camp for the first time in the new season, Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R LA MONDIALE team, explained. This is the fourth year we have come to Vaujany in the heart of the mountains of Oisans. The conditions are ideal to kick off operations for another year. Our team is growing every year, and we have big ambitions both for the stage races and the classics. After having conscientiously studied and considered the different possibilities, Romain Bardet will not double up on the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. It would have been an exciting challenge but the Tour de France parcours is more favorable for him than the Giro, and it seemed more appropriate to focus on the Grande Boucle.”
Romain Bardet : “A rational decision”
“Now that we are resuming serious training, I am happy to announce what will constitute the framework of my objectives for next season. In 2019 I will participate in the Tour de France as my main goal. I have for some time wanted to compete at the Giro as well, and there was a real, sincere and constructive discussion with the staff of the team about the goals that we have shared now over many seasons. But in the final analysis of the course for the Tour de France and that of the Giro, it led us to the conclusion that I will have more opportunities to shine at the Tour. In addition to that, the prospect of having a stage in my hometown of Brioude counted for a lot as well. But above all, this is a rational decision guided by sporting necessities and choices. We have built a balanced and interesting program to ramp up to form in July, including Paris-Nice, the Tour of Catalonia and the Critérium du Dauphiné. As for the Giro, this is really only a postponement because I definitely want to race there soon and with high ambitions.”
Expected program for the begining of the season
Tour du Haut Var (February 22-24)
Faun Environnement Classic de l’Ardèche (March 2nd)
Paris-Nice (March 10-17)
Tour of Catalonia (March 25-31)
The young Finnish rider Jaako Hanninen, 21, will be wearing the AG2R LA MONDIALE team kit beginning on August 1, 2019. Having taken 3rd in the 2018 U23 World Championships, he has committed to the team until 2021.
“He already demonstrated his talent at the World Championships as well as in the important races in France riding in the colors of EC Saint-Etienne Loire. He is a true climber who has good qualities. We are happy that he has chosen our team because he was very much sought after by other teams,” Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R LA MONDIALE team, explained.
Jaako Hanninen: “Want to become one of the best climbers”
“I am proud to join the AG2R LA MONDIALE team. There have not been many Finnish riders in the UCI World Tour in recent years. I chose this team because it knows how to give the climbers a chance. My goal is to become one of the best climbers in the world and win races.”
Born April 16, 1997
Raced with EC Saint Etienne Loire
Best results 2018:
3rd at the World Hopes Championships
Winner of the Tour du Gévaud
THE NEWS: THE PARTNERSHIP WITH VAUJANY AND OISANS RENEWED FOR 3 YEARS
At the opening of the Vaujany training camp, Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the AG2R LA MONDIALE team, signed a three-year extension of the contract with Yves Genevois, Mayor of Vaujany, and Caroline Sillons, Director of Oisans Tourisme. The team has been coming to this region for their training camps since 2016.[/su_quote]
The AG2R LA MONDIALE team’s Performance department led by Jean-Baptiste Quiclet will be joined by two new members for 2019. The Irishman Stephen Barrett, a 33-year-old doctor of sports sciences (PHD), and a former world-class triathlete, will be coming to the team having collaborated with Acqua Blue Sports in 2018. And the 31 year old Alexandre Abel from France, who also is a doctor of sports sciences (PHD), will be joining after working with WB-Aquaprotect-Verandaclassic. Nicolas Guillé is the fourth coach of the team.