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AG2R Prévoyance: Something to prove

AG2R PrévoyanceFranceProfileIn the peloton since 1996Sponsor: Provident contingency fundBudget: $3.2 millionManager: Vincent LavenuDirecteurs sportif: Laurent Biondi, Gilles MasRidersAGNOLUTTO Christophe  (F) December 6, 1969BERGÈS Stéphane  (F)  January 9, 1975BOTCHAROV Alexandre  (Rus)  February 26, 1975CHAURREAU Iñigo  (Sp)  April 14, 1973FLICKINGER Andy   (F)  November 4, 1978KIRSIPUU Jaan   (Est)  July 17, 1969ORIOL Christophe   (F)  February 28, 1973THIERRY LODER(F)TURPIN Ludovic   (F)  March 22, 1975Something to proveAlthough only selected as a wild-card team, Vincent Lavenu’s

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France

AG2R Prévoyance
FranceProfile
In the peloton since 1996
Sponsor: Provident contingency fund
Budget: $3.2 million
Manager: Vincent Lavenu
Directeurs sportif: Laurent Biondi, Gilles Mas


Riders
AGNOLUTTO Christophe  (F) December 6, 1969
BERGÈS Stéphane  (F)  January 9, 1975
BOTCHAROV Alexandre  (Rus)  February 26, 1975
CHAURREAU Iñigo  (Sp)  April 14, 1973
FLICKINGER Andy   (F)  November 4, 1978
KIRSIPUU Jaan   (Est)  July 17, 1969
ORIOL Christophe   (F)  February 28, 1973
THIERRY LODER(F)
TURPIN Ludovic   (F)  March 22, 1975


Something to prove
Although only selected as a wild-card team, Vincent Lavenu’s 19th-rankedsquad has been prominent at the Grande Boucle for the past two years: ChristopheAgnolutto won a stage in 2000 and Jaan Kirsipuu took another in 2001. TheEstonian’s serious injury at the beginning of this season might have eliminatedAG2R from the Tour, but he should find motivation for his anticipated recoveryin the team’s eventual selection. The Russian Alexandre Botcharov is apossible replacement leader, should Kirsipuu not be ready in time. Lavenuhas hired the Spanish climber Iñigo Chaurreau to replace BenoîtSalmon. Another talented signing is Frenchman Nicolas Portal, whose climbingabilities inspire hope for the future.TEAM WINS2001
KIRSIPUU: Tour de France, one stage; Mediterranean Tour, twostages; Route Adélie; Circuit de la Sarthe, two stages; GP de Denain;Tour de Picardie, one stage; Four Days of Dunkirk, four stages; Tour ofLuxembourg, one stage; Tour of Denmark, one stage; Tour du Poitou-Charentes,one stage; Tour of Poland, one stage; Tour of Lucca, one stage.
BALCIUNAS: Tour de Picardie, one stage.
ESTADIEU: Tour de la Somme.2002
KIRSIPUU: Classic Haribo; Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Étoilede Bessèges, two stages.
CAPELLE: Circuit de la Sarthe, one stage.INTERVIEW
Vincent Lavenu, Manager :
“It’s a relief to be in the Tour again, because we weren’t expectingto be selected after our shaky early season. We certainly couldn’t foreseethe injuries we had, but when it happens and the team is weakened, youmust suffer the consequences. We kept going, and now the whole squad hasfound its stability again. This is why we are very happy to be at the startof this Grande Boucle. We will do everything we can to show that we deserveour selection. As Jaan Kirsipuu won a stage last year, we’re again goingto try for a sprint win. Equally, as Botcharov and Chaurreau finished 17thand 12th on GC in 2001, we’re going to try to excel in the mountains andin the GC. We have a complete team, and we won’t come to the Tour to playa token role. Between the experienced old guard and the young talents,we’re going to fight all the way to Paris.”