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Cosnefroy extends with Ag2r-La Mondiale, García Cortina linked to Movistar

French team continues to secure base while fate of Romain Bardet remains uncertain.

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French rider Benoit Cosnefroy has extended his contract with Ag2r-La Mondiale until 2023, while budding Spanish star Iván García Cortina is linked to a move to Movistar.

The deal with 24-year-old Cosnefroy is the latest by the French team to secure its base, and is the sixth rider to extend his contract despite the coronavirus throwing disarray into the rider transfer market in 2020. Other riders recently extending include Geoffrey Bouchard, Dorian Godon, Oliver Naesen, Aurélien Paret Peintre, and Alexis Vuillermoz.

“Getting a three-year contract is a great sign of trust from the team’s management and its partners. The whole project is motivating,” Cosnefroy said Monday. “I feel a real expectation around me. It’s a pressure that pleases and motivates me. The communication between everyone is very good with an interesting exchange of perspectives. I now want to win a one-day UCI WorldTour race and my dream would be to win an Ardennes classic.”

One name missing in Ag2r’s current flurry of extensions is star rider Romain Bardet. The 29-year-old turned pro with Vincent Lavenu’s team in 2012, and hit the Tour de France podium twice. According to L’Equipe, the team has offered Bardet a two-year contract extension, but the Frenchman is reportedly exploring the wider market. Reports last week linked Bardet with a move to Sunweb. In the meantime, Bardet has changed his racing schedule, and will race the Tour (August 29 to September 20) instead of a planned debut at the Giro d’Italia.

García Cortina linked to Movistar

24-year-old Cortina may be on the move. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

In Spain, media reports suggest a three-year transfer to Movistar is in the works for budding classics rider García Cortina. According to a report in El Comercio, agents representing García Cortina first tried to work out a deal to stay with Bahrain-McLaren, but Movistar stepped up with a better offer. There’s been no official confirmation from the teams or rider.

Despite a flurry of contract extensions by Ag2r-La Mondiale and Groupama-FDJ, many teams appear to be waiting to see how the financial situation plays out in the coming weeks and months before committing to major transfer deals. With the world pandemic throwing the racing calendar and economic underpinnings for most teams into uncertainty, agents told VeloNews that transfer negotiations will take longer than usual in 2020.

There are close to 200 WorldTour pros on a contract season in 2020. Though the majority typically renew with their existing team, some top-name moves are expected in the coming weeks and months.