Riders representing popular French team Ag2r La Mondiale will return to the Santos Tour Down Under with their sights set on stage wins.
Ag2r, the only team to have competed every year since the Santos Tour Down Under began, today announced the seven-man outfit heading to South Australia in January.
Explosive climber Maxime Bouet (pronounced: Max-eem Boo-ay) will head the line-up, with fellow riders Maxime Daniel (Max-eem Dan-yel) and Sébastien Turgot focused on making their mark in the sprint finishes.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said Ag2r was a crowd favourite and consistently delivered strong performances on the streets of South Australia.
“As the only UCI WorldTour race in the southern hemisphere the Santos Tour Down Under attracts the best teams from around the world,” Mr Bignell said.
“French riders from Ag2r La Mondiale are among a large group of European cyclists coming to our state in January and we’re pleased to welcome them back for the 16th consecutive year.”
Santos Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said the race was set to deliver thrills and excitement for the crowd, with challenges for climbers, sprinters and all-rounders.
“There will be plenty of great vantage points for fans to enjoy the action as the top riders battle it out for stage wins and the overall victory,” Mr Turtur said.
Ag2r La Mondiale sports director Laurent Biondi said the team was looking forward to competing in the world class race.
“The pro cycling team Ag2r La Mondiale will be led by Maxime Bouet, who will aim to finish in the top 10 overall,” Mr Biondi said.
“We will also focus on stage wins, with Maxime Daniel and Sébastien Turgot our trump cards in the sprint finishes.
“We should also have good opportunities in the 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 Bérard (FRA), Guillaume Bonnafond (FRA), Maxime Bouet (FRA), Maxime Daniel (FRA), Axel Domont (FRA), Damien Gaudin (FRA) and Sébastien Turgot (FRA).
The team joins Cadel Evans and his BMC Racing Team, and Frank Schleck and his Trek Factory Racing team, who have already been confirmed for the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under.
The Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 19-26 January 2014. Visit www.tourdownunder.com.au for all event information.