AG2R CITROEN TEAM
This is the 32nd consecutive season for the team created by Vincent Lavenu in 1992. And the amazing story still goes on! The oldest French squad in the peloton has had three main sponsors throughout its lifetime: Chazal, Casino and Ag2r. Now partnering with the famous carmaker Citroën, it has featured 29 times in the Tour de France, where it has been a permanent fixture since 1997 with mixed results, ranging from the fall from grace of its leaders Rodolfo Massi (1998) and Francisco Mancebo (2006) to the podium places of Jean-Christophe Péraud (2014) and Romain Bardet (2016 and 2017), not to mention Rinaldo Nocentini's eight-day adventure in yellow in 2009.
The team from Savoy was established in Chambéry and has been based there ever since. It focuses on French riders. Some, including Sylvain Calzati, the winner of the stage to Lorient in 2006, and Cyril Dessel, who wore the yellow jersey and finished sixth overall the same year, come from Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Others are home-grown talents, including Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu, who rode for Lavenu from 1992 to 2004, winning four stages and spending six days in yellow in 1999, and Picard Christophe Riblon, who started on the track and went on to win a mountain stage in 2010 and another in 2013, when he was named the most combative rider of the Tour de France, a feat repeated by Romain Bardet in 2015.
AG2R La Mondiale, the winner of the team classification in 2014, has reaped the rewards of its approach to training with the rise of Romain Bardet, the top-placed French rider in the 2013 Tour (fifteenth), who finished sixth overall in 2014 after a stint in the white jersey and came in ninth in 2015 with a victory in the Alps and clad in the polka-dot jersey all the way to the Champs-Élysées (third in the mountains classification, after Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana). The rider from Auvergne with an impeccable academic record, who won mountain stages three years in a row, finished on the podium for the second time in 2017, came in sixth in 2018 and claimed the polka-dot jersey in 2019, has passed on the torch to a new generation led by Benoît Cosnefroy, who wore the polka-dot jersey for two thirds of the 2020 Tour de France, and Nans Peters, the winner of the stage to Loudenvielle. The Australian Ben O'Connor filled his shoes with verve, taking the stage to Tignes in the driving rain and fourth overall in the 2021 Tour de France. It was the third best performance by a cyclist from Down Under, only behind podium finishers Cadel Evans and Richie Porte. In 2022, he crashed in stage 2 and ended up withdrawing eight days later with a glute injury. However, the squad is nothing if not a true-blue Tour de France team, especially in its home region, so its back-up leader, Bob Jungels, rose to the occasion with a stage win in Châtel-Les Portes du Soleil and eleventh place overall. Meanwhile, O'Connor has got back on track with a third-place finish in the 2023 Critérium du Dauphiné that marks him as a man to watch in the Grande Boucle.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories21
- Yellows Jerseys16
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 0
Podium finishes: 3
- 2014: Jean-Christophe Péraud, second
- 2016: Romain Bardet, second
- 2017: Romain Bardet, third
Stage wins: 21
- 1998: Jacky Durand in Montauban and Rodolfo Massi in Luchon
- 1999: Jaan Kirsipuu in Challans
- 2000: Christophe Agnolutto in Limoges
- 2001: Jaan Kirsipuu in Strasbourg
- 2002: Jaan Kirsipuu in Rouen
- 2004: Jaan Kirsipuu in Charleroi and Jean-Patrick Nazon in Wasquehal
- 2006: Sylvain Calzati in Lorient
- 2008: Vladimir Efimkin in Bagnères-de-Bigorre and Cyril Dessel in Jausiers
- 2010: Christophe Riblon at Ax-3 Domaines
- 2013: Christophe Riblon on the Alpe d'Huez
- 2014: Biel Kadri in Gérardmer-La Mauselaine
- 2015: Alexis Vuillermoz in Mûr-de-Bretagne and Romain Bardet in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne
- 2016: Romain Bardet in Saint-Gervais-Mont Blanc
- 2017: Romain Bardet at Peyragudes
- 2020: Nans Peters in Loudenvielle
- 2021: Ben O'Connor in Tignes
- 2022: Bob Jungels in Châtel-Les Portes du Soleil
Secondary classification wins: 7
- 1998: Jacky Durand (most combative rider)
- 1999: Benoît Salmon (best young rider)
- 2013: Christophe Riblon (most combative rider)
- 2014: team classification
- 2015: Romain Bardet (most combative rider)
- 2018: Pierre Latour (best young rider)
- 2019: Romain Bardet (mountains classification)
Yellow jerseys: 16
- 1998: Bo Hamburger, one day
- 1999: Jaan Kirsipuu, six days
- 2006: Cyril Dessel, one day
- 2009: Rinaldo Nocentini, eight days
STARTS: 29 (since 1993, a record among extant French squads)
8: the number of days spent in yellow by Rinaldo Nocentini, the last rider to lead the Tour de France for Vincent Lavenu's team.
5 July 1999: Jaan Kirsipuu, one of the riders who have been with Vincent Lavenu from the start, becomes the first Estonian to wear the yellow jersey.
27 July 2014: At age 37, the 2008 mountain bike Olympic silver medallist, Jean-Christophe Péraud, finishes one step below winner Vincenzo Nibali on the final podium of the Tour de France and then climbs onto the top step with his victorious team!
22 July 2017: In a time trial in Marseille, Romain Bardet saves his spot on the final podium (third) by a single second over Mikel Landa, a year after finishing runner-up to Chris Froome in Paris.
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