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Tour de France

Tour de France: Team BikeExchange, Ag2r-Citroën bring squads for all terrain

Both teams bring mix of old and young, with breakaways, stages and outsider GC chances on radar.

Team BikeExchange and Ag2r-Citroën confirmed competitive mixed squads to hunt for stages at the Tour de France.

Officials from the Aussie-backed team said “hunting down stage victories” will be the primary objective for the 108th edition, anchored by Michael Matthews, Esteban Chaves, and Simon Yates.

“We have assembled a very well-balanced unit for this year’s Tour de France. The group has multiple options as we go after stage wins across the entire three weeks,” said sport director Matt White.

“Our elite climbing unit is led by Simon Yates, who is looking to add more stage wins to his tally, and Esteban Chaves, who has won stages at both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, and is aiming to add wins at the Tour de France to his resume.”

Lucas Hamilton, the promising Australian all-rounder, will be the team’s GC leader in what will be his Tour debut.

After riding to third in the Giro, Yates will return to stage-hunting mode. Chaves, already winner of stages in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, will be looking to round out the treble. Luka Mezgec, second in two stages last year, will see chances in the flatter stages.

Matthews, back in team colors, will target specific stages in the opening week and in the medium mountain stages.

“There’s a couple of stages in this year’s Tour that suit me really well, especially in the first week,” said Matthews, winner of the points jersey in 2017. “So, hopefully we can start the Tour off well on those days and then continue the momentum through once we get to the climbs with the other guys.”

This will be the franchise’s 10th Tour start, a run that’s included three top-10’s (2016, 2017, 2020), seven days in the maillot jaune (3x 2013, 4x 2020), one TTT victory, six individual stage victories from five different riders, and two overall victories in the young rider classification (2016, 2017).

Team BikeExchange for the Tour de France:

Esteban Chaves (COL)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Amund Grøndahl Jansen (NOR)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Luka Mezgec (SLO)
Simon Yates (GBR)

Ag2r-Citroën brings mix of young and old

French outfit Ag2r-Citroën brings mix of young and old for the Tour.

Greg Van Avermaet, Oliver Naesen and Ben O’Connor headline the team which loss the services of Bob Jungels last week to injury.

“Our team has an attractive face, between young wolves and experienced riders, which should allow us to shine throughout the next three weeks,” said manager Vincent Lavenu.

Naesen and Van Avermaet, who wore the yellow jersey in 2016 and 2018, will battle for wins in the first week

“Greg came to the team preceded by his reputation and immediately fit in with ease. He has already won stages and worn the yellow jersey at the Tour. This will again be his goal with us, while also playing the mentoring role of ‘older brother,’ which is a role he does wonderfully,” Lavenu said. “Ben is a very talented rider who has shown great things in tough races like the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné. We already knew his qualities as a rider, especially since he won a stage last year at the Giro.”

Three of the team’s riders will be making their Tour debuts.

Ag2r-Citroën for Tour de France:

Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra)

Dorian Godon (Fra)

Oliver Naesen (Bel)

Ben O’Connor (Aus)

Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Fra)

Nans Peters (Fra)

Michaël Schär (Swi)

Greg Van Avermaet (Bel)