Velorooms - Cycling Forum

Professional Cycling => Men's Road Cycling => Topic started by: just some guy on April 15, 2014, 08:08

Title: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on April 15, 2014, 08:08
Really good team now, so much has changed since Nico left, for the better


JCP Bikini Carlos, Pozzo plus a group of solid performers whats not to love about the brown bombers


https://twitter.com/velofacts/status/455960978224857088
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Arb on April 15, 2014, 09:27
Peraud "leader" in a sprint... sign of the times. Or maybe it means he will try a 40km solo.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on April 15, 2014, 09:34
Peraud "leader" in a sprint... sign of the times. Or maybe it means he will try a 40km solo.

Tour de France, not Amstel  :)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Arb on April 15, 2014, 09:35
rofl. Nice 2.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on April 15, 2014, 09:38
Betancur as a domestique will propably be as useful as Gadret
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Mellow Velo on April 15, 2014, 14:01
Betancur as a domestique will propably be as useful as Gadret

Makes perfect sense.......................................if you are French. ;)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: LukasCPH on June 09, 2014, 19:11
Mundo Ciclistico: Betancur con dificultades para correrlo (http://revistamundociclistico.com/ruta/16642-exclusivo-tour-de-francia-carlos-betancur-con-dificultades-para-correrlo.html)

Betancur should have come to France on the 3rd June. He didn't.
In addition to that, his work permit/visa is expired.
Lavenu is peeed, Betancur says he didn't receive the plane tickets and cites fatigue and bad form.

Seems like we have another Rujano character here: Brilliant rider when things go his way, but unstable and prone to do something unexpected. :fp
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on June 09, 2014, 20:38
Mundo Ciclistico: Betancur con dificultades para correrlo (http://revistamundociclistico.com/ruta/16642-exclusivo-tour-de-francia-carlos-betancur-con-dificultades-para-correrlo.html)

Betancur should have come to France on the 3rd June. He didn't.
In addition to that, his work permit/visa is expired.
Lavenu is peeed, Betancur says he didn't receive the plane tickets and cites fatigue and bad form.

Seems like we have another Rujano character here: Brilliant rider when things go his way, but unstable and prone to do something unexpected. :fp

One word. Professionalism.

Actually, there's another too but it's not for this section of the forum.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on June 09, 2014, 21:44
ah, yeh, that's what I tried to indicate when I posted that photo of him in Colombia last week. I was hoping it would stay a bit under the radar though...

on the other hand, AG2R announced he would be dom for Peraud at the Tour months ago, so that probably didn't help, regarding his motivation...
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: DB-Coop on June 09, 2014, 21:46
ah, yeh, that's what I tried to indicate when I posted that photo of him in Colombia last week. I was hoping it would stay a bit under the radar though...

on the other hand, AG2R announced he would be dom for Peraud at the Tour months ago, so that probably didn't help, regarding his motivation...

Also a bit dumb from AG2R side should let 'em both ride and find out on the road like last year with Pozzo and Betancur in the Giro.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on June 09, 2014, 22:27
on the other hand, AG2R announced he would be dom for Peraud at the Tour months ago, so that probably didn't help, regarding his motivation...

Well, Péraud looks pretty bad right now. AG2R are going to end up praying for a Bardet stage win after eggbasketing the Giro.

Or else, they press Betancur into leadership. Every perrito gets his day, right?
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on June 09, 2014, 22:32
Peraud is something like 45, he can't be on top in every race  :P

he just came back from holiday + altitude btw. It's more or less his usual schedule, peaking for the one week races in spring, doing a bit of a break to slowly come back in shape for the Tour
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on June 09, 2014, 22:34
Peraud is something like 45, he can't be on top in every race  :P

he just came back from holiday + altitude btw. It's more or less his usual schedule, peaking for the one week races in spring, doing a bit of a break to slowly come back in shape for the Tour

Eh, taking care to not already be at the peak of your form a whole month before the Tour is so 1990s. ;)

Hoping for a strong ride from Jicé this year though. Heart went out to him last year in that TT crash.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: zinoviev letter on June 10, 2014, 01:33
ah, yeh, that's what I tried to indicate when I posted that photo of him in Colombia last week. I was hoping it would stay a bit under the radar though..

Was the photo of interest because it showed him still in Colombia or did he look out of shape? (I'd go look myself but I can't find it.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on June 10, 2014, 08:17
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bo43YlHCUAImUm7.jpg:large)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on June 10, 2014, 09:41
from today's l'Equipe

(http://i.imgur.com/8i3weig.jpg)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on June 10, 2014, 14:43
There is an echo of Rujano in there, but I cannot really believe that these individuals do not fully appreciate the importance of contract fulfillment.

It surprises me that there isn't some insistence on maintaining a European base during the season. Times have changed in terms of flexibility of travel but when your team expects you to race, you have to be there, right?

How can one imagine this sort of dereliction from a rider who, like so many of his peers, has put in so much to get to the top of the sport?

As a result, I find the Lavenu story a little hard to swallow. He is however, according to the article Search posted, a recidivist. He was hard to recall last year too.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: cj2002 on June 10, 2014, 15:29
I posted this in the TdF thread, but it's probably more pertinent here...

If I was Vincent Lavenu, I'd be pretty peeed off. There was apparently an article about Betancur's situation in l'Equipe today. He was quoted as saying that dismissal wasn't on the cards, but if he can't race, I wouldn't expect to be paying him!

https://twitter.com/inrng/status/476300961770930176

https://twitter.com/cjwaine/status/476301799406972928

https://twitter.com/inrng/status/476302624778911744
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on June 12, 2014, 09:28
Betancur still bugging me.

Here is a kid who won Paris-Nice, got a bit sick and now doesn't want to race. Lavenu reckoned he had some similar attitude problems ahead of Burgos last year.

I remember why AG2R bought him. He was clearly very talented at Acqua e Sapone but also a reliable finisher. Looking at his race history, he rode very full seasons in Italy. Rarely was there a month when he was not riding somewhere or other, from February or March to October.

I would be surprised if he ever had time / was allowed to go back to the old country during the season back then.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on June 12, 2014, 11:50
Bikini Carlos not riding Suisse confirmed by AG2R
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on June 12, 2014, 15:27
https://twitter.com/inrng/status/477094186731438080

Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on June 18, 2014, 09:58
interview with Christophe Riblon from today's l'Equipe (gt)

Quote
"I would like to wear the yellow Jersey."

CHRISTOPHE RIBLON, winner at the alpe of huez last year, already has a plan in the head for the tower. And he's not afraid to discover: "the second step pleases me much", he says.

Fog is the cause of his fall in the descent of the Grimsel, Sunday. He was left "to a few body aches" that slowed it a little overnight, the arrival in Heiden bump. But the sun shines in the head of Christophe Riblon. Here it is catapulted leader of AG2R the world puisquePozzovivo, then 5th of the general, had to give up on the morning of the second stage. And his good time on Saturday opened his appetite. "I'm really good. Suddenly, I'm ambitious for the second timetrial (Friday) and two arrivals at the top (Saturday and Sunday). There will not be 10 guys who will climb better than I. No doubt Pinot and Kreuziger, but not others. » 19th on gc, 39* seconds behind TonyMartin, the hero of the Alpe-d'Huez is aiming for 5th to 7th place. At 33 years he already salivates towards idea of devouring his seventh Tour de France.


"As the first step - a time trial of 9,4km - shows 23rd to 39" Tony Martin), you seem to have found your pedal stroke

Yes, in general it is not the first day of a stage race that I am the most powerful. '' But it is in line with what I was hoping. I have the opportunity to do something to the general, especially since Pozzovivo is gone. Considering how I've worked the last month and a half, I'm in condition for a result. With the team, was ten days in Briançon, I spotted the stages of the Tour de France to Risoul and Chamrousse. I worked on the climbs but also the chrono. I followed up with the Tour of Bavaria, where I did the intensities, and then I did a week at AIX with my wife and the girls. I'm at my weight of form (67.5 kg), nearly 500 grams.

A single goal: the Tour de France?

I've lived so beautiful things that I obviously want to perform. In fact, I would like to wear the yellow Jersey one day.

So you have studied the course...

yeah, I have beautiful stuff in mind. Stage 2 (York-Sheffield) pleases me very much. Given the bumps that the mark, the breakaway could go at the end.

And that said escaped, said Jersey yellow since the first step should play the Sprint...

of course! Stage win and yellow Jersey. I guess if Cavendish is yellow after the first stage, the Quick Step will not defend his Jersey up to Sheffield. It's too hard for him. One who takes the Jersey there may keep it until the Vosges if it passes the cobblestones without problem. And me, even if I do not Paris-Roubaix, I know that I have no problems on the cobblestones. But you saying it, I am trying to get a shot in the foot, everyone will know what I mean... After the Tour of Switzerland, we're going to recognize the Vosges steps. Here too, it opportunities and then before it is a massif where I have not yet won. Otherwise, it will remain Risoul, Hautacam... In any case, I urge the team so we have recognize l es last sixty kilometers of the stage of Sheffield the Thursday preceding the departure. Usually, we like to stay peinards in two days of the race, but I think it would be too con of not to do so. It will rest Friday.

You stay on a very quiet start to the season (0 victory)...

at the beginning of the winter, I wanted to run Milan-San Remo and Tirreno-Adriatico. And then there was the accident of Arnaud Coyot (died in Guillaume Levarlet car returning from a night). I was longer. I delayed my preparation and the team has made the choice of leave me alone. I got gently on the Ardennes and I found that I had a very good level. Last year, back problems had delayed me and I had been very well in the round, then perhaps that subconsciously I wanted to reproduce this pattern. Between Vincent (Lavenu, the manager), directors sports and me, a climate of trust is installed. I have the privilege of age and the results. Last year, Vincent had taught me my selection for the Tour after the Championships of France. There, I know that I'm going for a long time already (there are more than a runner out of nine to designate). At AG2R, believed I can do in the top ten, or even better. And then I'd that one wins the team ranking (AG2R La Mondiale was third last year and has just won this classification in the Giro). Last year, had handed me the price of the most combative rider on the Champs Elysees. Get on the podium, it's a gimmick... So, I would like to revive it with the team.»

Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on August 28, 2014, 10:54
http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/08/despite-poor-form-and-previous-tensions-with-team-betancur-to-remain-with-ag2r-la-mondiale/
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on August 28, 2014, 15:27
http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/08/despite-poor-form-and-previous-tensions-with-team-betancur-to-remain-with-ag2r-la-mondiale/

This raised an eyebrow. I would have thought AG2R would get rid but then again, it hasn't signed any other really big names since August 1st.

Lavenu is bending over backwards, in my ill-informed opinion, offering up all sorts of personal incentives for Betancur. You have to expect a bit of quid pro quo after this.

Still doesn't change my mind that I would prefer to have seen him jettisoned, raw talent or not. His behaviour is not a good example to others :Sleepy:
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Armchair Cyclist on August 28, 2014, 20:48
And he shows his gratitude and commitment by finishing 190th, behind most sprinters, on the first serious stage
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on October 13, 2014, 12:14
http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/q-and-a-romain-bardet
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on October 29, 2014, 13:30
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/betancur-must-lead-life-of-champion-athlete-says-lavenu
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on October 29, 2014, 13:39
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/betancur-must-lead-life-of-champion-athlete-says-lavenu

It is hard to believe that AG2R and Betancur have buried the hatchet, reading that article. Lavenu is always very cautious anyway but I suppose we will know more come Spring.

At best, Betancur is a poor communicator. At worst, he's rather unprofessional, and that has been my impression of him this year. That said, there were no indications of such dissent at Acqua e Sapone, where he rode more or less complete European seasons. Something doesn't quite add up.

I think he must have been unable to buy his way out of the AG2R contract because I can't see why he would stay after the mess he made. Perhaps no other team wanted to find the money to do that. If he's signed up until 2016 inclusive, then that would certainly be expensive.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on October 29, 2014, 13:47
It is hard to believe that AG2R and Betancur have buried the hatchet, reading that article. Lavenu is always very cautious anyway but I suppose we will know more come Spring.

At best, Betancur is a poor communicator. At worst, he's rather unprofessional, and that has been my impression of him this year. That said, there were no indications of such dissent at Acqua e Sapone, where he rode more or less complete European seasons. Something doesn't quite add up.

I think he must have been unable to buy his way out of the AG2R contract because I can't see why he would stay after the mess he made. Perhaps no other team wanted to find the money to do that. If he's signed up until 2016 inclusive, then that would certainly be expensive.
He did have some issues with Acqua e Sapone signed a contract with AG2R while still signed with them, can´t remember now if he road an extra year for the Soap team or not, it was messy

Sounds like his manager is not helping things

but agree the money he wanted would have matched his guts and other teams would have laughed, he had backed the wide load into the corner, if he is half smart he will come back to Europe and rip legs off people for 9 months and sign a fat contract  ;)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on October 29, 2014, 14:09
I think the issues at A&S were more or less similar, he probably just had less freedom to take long mid season breaks for them to unfold completely.

Lavenu needs to keep him on a short leash if he wants him to be successful - whether he'll be able to...no idea. But Betancur potentially is the most complete rider there is - and that seems to be something Lavenu is aware of.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on December 14, 2014, 07:00
Ag2r delivers the first duties for January (http://www.biciciclismo.com/es/ag2r-reparte-los-primeros-deberes-para-enero-13-12-2014)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on December 14, 2014, 07:01
I think the issues at A&S were more or less similar, he probably just had less freedom to take long mid season breaks for them to unfold completely.

Lavenu needs to keep him on a short leash if he wants him to be successful - whether he'll be able to...no idea. But Betancur potentially is the most complete rider there is - and that seems to be something Lavenu is aware of.

Carlos looked in almost his best condition for 2014 in some photos I saw from team camp, so maybe 2015 might be good,
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Leadbelly on December 15, 2014, 09:06
I thought he looked a bit rotund actually, but plenty of time to lose it.

http://www.biciciclismo.com/es/betancur-apuesta-por-el-giro-15-12-2014

He's pencilled in for the Giro/Vuelta and not the Tour. No mention of the Ardennes, but presumably that is another target.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on December 15, 2014, 12:08
I thought he looked a bit rotund actually, but plenty of time to lose it.

http://www.biciciclismo.com/es/betancur-apuesta-por-el-giro-15-12-2014

He's pencilled in for the Giro/Vuelta and not the Tour. No mention of the Ardennes, but presumably that is another target.

Bardet wants the Ardennes too so one might expect him to share leadership with Betancur, whose no-shows in 2014 were actually really good for Bardet and a few others on AG2R.

Would like to see more of Gougeard and Vuillermoz next season.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on December 15, 2014, 12:38
Pozzovivo aims for Liege as well, after his great performance this year
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Joelsim on December 15, 2014, 13:20
The chubbster has suggested he may miss the Ardennes. Vuillermoz must be given a chance this year for some races, surely. He was great last year.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on December 19, 2014, 10:57
https://twitter.com/inrng/status/545895232404209664
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on December 23, 2014, 11:31
Pozzovivo aims for Liege as well, after his great performance this year

here is the interview Gazzetta did with Pozzovivo (http://www.gazzetta.it/Ciclismo/01-11-2014/domenico-pozzovivo-intervista-riposo-guerrieri-2015-giro-tour-vuelta-90914006684.shtml), last month already

after starting the season in Australia he will have the plate removed he got due to his tibia fracture, and plans to return for Tirreno Adriatico. He is scheduled to do the Giro and also another grand tour, either Tour or Vuelta. He is a bit worried about the long time trial in the Giro and thinks that the Tour might be better suited to his abilities. Meanwhile he will study again, after already having graduated in economics he is now enrolled to study sport science at an online university
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: LukasCPH on December 26, 2014, 23:15
Meanwhile he will study again, after already having graduated in economics he is now enrolled to study sport science at an online university
As if training and racing as a pro cyclist wasn't enough ... Vai Dottore! :pray
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on December 29, 2014, 09:18
As if training and racing as a pro cyclist wasn't enough ... Vai Dottore! :pray

Indeed. Recalls to mind the University of Lausanne study, in which an anonymous pro complained that one of the darkest moments was when there was no satellite TV in the hotel room. Studying is what Pozzo and many others probably do of an evening during stage races.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: LukasCPH on December 29, 2014, 10:56
Indeed. Recalls to mind the University of Lausanne study, in which an anonymous pro complained that one of the darkest moments was when there was no satellite TV in the hotel room. Studying is what Pozzo and many others probably do of an evening during stage races.
In Sibiu, there was a noticeable strain on the hotel wi-fi every evening. ;)
Connecting with the family back home, checking mails, looking at cute cat pics ... and possibly some of them were studying as well.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: pastronef on December 29, 2014, 12:11
In Sibiu, there was a noticeable strain on the hotel wi-fi every evening. ;)
Connecting with the family back home, checking mails, looking at cute cat pics ... and possibly some of them were studying as well.

eeehh?  :lol  :P
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: LukasCPH on December 29, 2014, 12:29
eeehh?  :lol  :P
I'm only guesstimating, I have no idea what they actually did. :P
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on December 29, 2014, 14:52
I'm only guesstimating, I have no idea what they actually did. :P

On some forums, this would have slid inexorably in the wrong direction. I love all you high-minded VR posters. :hug
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on January 20, 2015, 15:05
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/betancur-i-havent-shown-anything-yet
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on January 20, 2015, 17:03
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/betancur-i-havent-shown-anything-yet

His arrogance is certainly that of a winner but, for me and probably for many other fans, the majority of what followed in 2014 neutralised whatever superb results he had in early Spring. As I see it, he starts at zero this year and in that respect, I would happily agree with the statement that he has not shown anything yet.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on February 04, 2015, 13:35
https://twitter.com/velonews/status/562967063388778496
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on February 23, 2015, 11:40
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/bardet-continues-steady-progress-at-vuelta-a-andalucia
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on February 23, 2015, 14:38
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/bardet-continues-steady-progress-at-vuelta-a-andalucia

I love this team because I love to stroke the underdog. Sure, the kit blows, they stopped riding Campag and they don't drink beet juice but I love them anyway.

As recently as two or three seasons ago, AG2R was a bunch of bridesmaids at least until April. The trickle of UCI points came through solid but usually unremarkable GC hangers-on Gadret and that quintessential bio-passport refugee Nocentini. Rare wins were delivered by lucky breakaways like Elmiger, Dupont and Riblon. Nicolas Roche was still just Stephen's son and Péraud was only known as a decent time triallist.

And then things changed. For me it all began the moment some kid called Bardet attacked at the sharp end of Amstel Gold but in broader terms, it was the arrival from Italy of bargain buys Pozzovivo and Betancur that seemed to transform the team. Péraud slimmed down and found his climbing legs. On the home front, Samuel Dumoulin was imported for his famous consistency in the Coupe de France and has since delivered it. Scrappy youngsters Bardet, Domont, Gougeard and Vuillermoz have given the team a new, youthful complexion.

AG2R is still probably one of the poorer siblings of the WT but I think it does deserve some respect nowadays. A fat stash of wins might be too much to hope for but with a strong show of faith from the sponsors, Lavenu's outfit is healthier than plenty of others at the top.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on February 23, 2015, 17:05
It will be interesting to see how their northern classics campaign will go this year. Minard was surprisingly strong last year, probably one of the 10 strongest in both the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix, but it did not really convert into results. Chainel had solid results in the past, Turgot was 2nd in Roubaix three years ago, Gaudin 5th the year after, Mondory finished in the top 20 several times...and now they also have Vansummeren. Overall a really strong team for the cobbles, but it lacks that certain something to really fight for the big wins.

Gaudin for some reason is racing on track this week though, no idea how well he will be prepared
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Capt_Cavman on February 23, 2015, 17:54
They seem to be undisputed top dog now in France and while competition is healthy, spreading talent too thinly isn't. Now, if AG2R have got a contender on the cobbles or in the mountains, they'll be really well supported*; and that's all you can ask of a team really.


*(note the difference between Betencur's support in last year's P-N and Thomas').
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on February 23, 2015, 18:03
They seem to be undisputed top dog now in France and while competition is healthy, spreading talent too thinly isn't. Now, if AG2R have got a contender on the cobbles or in the mountains, they'll be really well supported*; and that's all you can ask of a team really.


*(note the difference between Betencur's support in last year's P-N and Thomas').

Funny you say that because PN last year was another watershed moment for AG2R and one that even Sky could learn from. It was the first moment I remember seeing the Boys in Brown working effectively as a unit for Betancur rather than under the general instruction of everyone just hang on to the leaders as long as you can. Such a positive surprise.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on February 23, 2015, 18:05
They seem to be undisputed top dog now in France and while competition is healthy, spreading talent too thinly isn't. Now, if AG2R have got a contender on the cobbles or in the mountains, they'll be really well supported*; and that's all you can ask of a team really.


*(note the difference between Betencur's support in last year's P-N and Thomas').

I would say the FDJ are the Top dog fwiw

and
I love this team because I love to stroke the underdog. Sure, the kit blows, they stopped riding Campag and they don't drink beet juice but I love them anyway.

As recently as two or three seasons ago, AG2R was a bunch of bridesmaids at least until April. The trickle of UCI points came through solid but usually unremarkable GC hangers-on Gadret and that quintessential bio-passport refugee Nocentini. Rare wins were delivered by lucky breakaways like Elmiger, Dupont and Riblon. Nicolas Roche was still just Stephen's son and Péraud was only known as a decent time triallist.

And then things changed. For me it all began the moment some kid called Bardet attacked at the sharp end of Amstel Gold but in broader terms, it was the arrival from Italy of bargain buys Pozzovivo and Betancur that seemed to transform the team. Péraud slimmed down and found his climbing legs. On the home front, Samuel Dumoulin was imported for his famous consistency in the Coupe de France and has since delivered it. Scrappy youngsters Bardet, Domont, Gougeard and Vuillermoz have given the team a new, youthful complexion.

AG2R is still probably one of the poorer siblings of the WT but I think it does deserve some respect nowadays. A fat stash of wins might be too much to hope for but with a strong show of faith from the sponsors, Lavenu's outfit is healthier than plenty of others at the top.

But when did AG2R become a team I like to follow, The moment Roche left the door tbh , they became a real just get the job done team

Roche was all about the show Team Gadret was right not to give him that wheel  :lol
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on February 23, 2015, 18:09
yeah, FDJ has Demare, who probably is the biggest French talent for the classics, and also le Bon, Ladanous, Offredo...overall a very solid team, and also for the climbs, with Pinot, Kenny, Geniez and so on. They lack the big international riders Ag2R has, but regarding the French riders they are on a similar level at least I think.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Joelsim on February 23, 2015, 18:34
FDJ have only really got Demare who blows very hot or very average, and Pinot who isn't top class, and possibly Vichot.

AG2R have fatty who could be one of the very best if he didn't eat so many McDonalds, Vuillermoz who is a talent, Bardet, possibly Bakelants.

Pretty even I would say.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Capt_Cavman on February 24, 2015, 09:38
Wow I seem to be completely out of step in my AG2R vs FDJ assessment. If I was charged with setting up a Francophone version of Sky, I'd be going to AG2R for the talent and FDJ for the filler.

It's not as black and white as that obviously...

Post Merge: February 24, 2015, 09:40
I would say the FDJ are the Top dog fwiw

and
But when did AG2R become a team I like to follow, The moment Roche left the door tbh , they became a real just get the job done team

Roche was all about the show Team Gadret was right not to give him that wheel  :lol
For me it was the year after when Team Gadret left.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on February 24, 2015, 09:51
Wow I seem to be completely out of step in my AG2R vs FDJ assessment. If I was charged with setting up a Francophone version of Sky, I'd be going to AG2R for the talent and FDJ for the filler.

It's not as black and white as that obviously...

Post Merge: February 24, 2015, 09:40
For me it was the year after when Team Gadret left.

I agree with you, Cap. Lavenu and Jurdie might not be plugged into Nark Madiot's nu-generation cybourg ;) factory but I fancy them for modernising a bit and buying in better foreign talent.

Meanwhile the term 'Team Gadret' speaks volumes about how far have they come. Cycling's Only Goth should never have left, it killed his career.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on February 24, 2015, 14:57
Fatancur Jnr

https://twitter.com/UranRigoberto/status/570230489828737024

What a proud Dad  :)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on February 24, 2015, 17:19
the walnut is on the final year on his contract with Ag2R, but he hopes to be able to continue another 2 years before retiring, age 40 then, after 20 years as a pro cyclist. He aims for good results in the first half of the season, and will also do the Giro to support Betancur

http://www.gazzetta.it/Ciclismo/18-01-2015/tour-san-luis-rinaldo-nocentini-ag2r-carlos-betancur-giro-italia-100529453937.shtml
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on February 25, 2015, 12:01
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-1kMNI6RKY
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on March 04, 2015, 13:09
http://cyclingquotes.com/news/betancur_i_hope_i_can_do_the_tour_instead_of_the_giro/
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: ansimi on March 06, 2015, 09:37
Classics plus Tour would be a much more suitable plan for Betancur but I can totally see why the team doesn't trust him with that plan - especially the part of the plan where he would rest between the classics and the Tour. He has a bad track record when it comes to resting.

It seems so late to not know Spring racing goals and could be tough to have any proper form peak.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on March 06, 2015, 09:51
yes, with his newborn son, I can understand that he prefers to be back home sooner than later, but there's definitely a big risk of losing focus again.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on March 06, 2015, 10:07
What he wants is to look good before the transfer season kicks off. Because there is no way he stays with #ag2r after this year.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: LukasCPH on March 06, 2015, 10:25
He has a bad track record when it comes to resting.
I profoundly disagree - he has a phenomenal track record when it comes to resting! :lol
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on April 21, 2015, 12:06
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/q-and-a-with-bardet-im-ready-to-fight-for-victory-at-liegebastogneliege
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on July 14, 2015, 23:42
Betancur will start for the Colombian National Team in this week's Vuelta Marco Fidel Suárez

~pdf startlist (http://www.nuestrociclismo.com/images/stories/2015/resultados/bello15-lista.pdf)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: LukasCPH on July 15, 2015, 07:05
Betancur will start for the Colombian National Team in this week's Vuelta Marco Fidel Suárez
Well, at least he's racing again.
But I think his time at #ag2r is coming to an end.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Leadbelly on July 15, 2015, 08:39
I saw him on the provisional start list for the Pan-Am Games too.

Hopefully we'll see him at San Sebastian and Burgos too before the Veulta.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on July 15, 2015, 10:15
Well, at least he's racing again.
But I think his time at #ag2r is coming to an end.

#ag2r would be crazy to keep investing in him. At best he has been suspiciously erratic and at worst totally unprofessional. Rujano 2.0.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Murrjt on July 25, 2015, 11:29
Just looking at the results from the Vuelta Marco Fidel Suárez, Bananito doesn't appear anywhere in them and also it seems like he didn't turn up for the Pan American games either despite being expected.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on July 25, 2015, 11:45
yeah, looks like he didn't start - he just seems to be too busy at the moment

(https://igcdn-photos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xat1/t51.2885-15/10684230_1622182961328387_254240673_n.jpg)(https://igcdn-photos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t51.2885-15/11378381_1598390197100667_1907472346_n.jpg)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Flo on July 25, 2015, 12:00
Just looking at the results from the Vuelta Marco Fidel Suárez, Bananito doesn't appear anywhere in them and also it seems like he didn't turn up for the Pan American games either despite being expected.
Thanks for editing that, I was a bit confused why you were talking about la Vuelta and why you called Fat Cat "Marco Fidel Suárez Bananito" :P
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Murrjt on August 10, 2015, 18:41
No Betancur at Tour de l'Ain, when will we see him again  :o

http://www.cyclisme.ag2rlamondiale.fr/en/calendar-results/190-tour-de-l-ain/event_details
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on August 10, 2015, 18:52
he is in Italy at least, together with the family. So there's some hope

https://instagram.com/p/6HvL4Klf8H/

(Ristorante La Nina, San Martino in Colle, Italy)

if he will come back in shape until the end of the season is a different story I guess...

edit: the little one has a "Handsome like Daddy" t-shirt by the way :D
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on August 11, 2015, 11:52
he is in Italy at least, together with the family. So there's some hope

https://instagram.com/p/6HvL4Klf8H/

(Ristorante La Nina, San Martino in Colle, Italy)

if he will come back in shape until the end of the season is a different story I guess...

edit: the little one has a "Handsome like Daddy" t-shirt by the way :D

I don't care when he comes back, quite frankly, just so long as he doesn't come back in a #ag2r jersey.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on August 11, 2015, 11:55
I don't care when he comes back, quite frankly, just so long as he doesn't come back in a #ag2r jersey.

what burn the witch how dare you talk badly about the Fat one  :D

It does bring an interesting point up though Where does Carlos go?
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on August 11, 2015, 11:59
what burn the witch how dare you talk badly about the Fat one  :D

It does bring an interesting point up though Where does Carlos go?

Any big Euro team has to realise that hiring this unprofessional waster means taking a significant risk. #ag2r desperately needed a rider like him two seasons ago whereas now that team's outlook is very different.

His standout P-N performance, in which Slagter's bad luck played as much of a role as his own riding, now seems like a long time ago. Until July 2014, Betancur could argue that he was needed. Now his pile of bargaining chips is getting light.

Since that P-N he has mostly hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons and there are plenty of talents prepared to work harder and more reliably than he has.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: cj2002 on August 11, 2015, 12:03
Now his pile of bargaining chips is getting light.

Did he eat all the chips, L'arri?
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on August 11, 2015, 12:36
the thing is that he looked okay physically all year, and his family even moved to Italy with him as far as I know. Maybe it really is a different problem - either motivation, or health wise. That tweet mentioning "angina" (it also means problems with the heart in French, I guess?!) last week was deleted quickly though.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on January 26, 2016, 13:09
https://twitter.com/VeloClubDuNet/status/691970448632987648
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on February 10, 2016, 09:10
quite a good article (in French) about Hugo Houle, his plans for 2016, and what it's like to live together with Antoine Duchesne

http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/bcf6067d-5014-40c1-b8e0-4227d35e5e5e|_0.html (http://plus.lapresse.ca/screens/bcf6067d-5014-40c1-b8e0-4227d35e5e5e|_0.html)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: pastronef on November 23, 2016, 16:13
https://www.twitter.com/ammattipyoraily/status/801446591773208576
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: t-72 on November 23, 2016, 22:31
Well, it seems to be going kinda slow at the AG2R camp, wonder if they'll catch up to speed in time for 2017 season. :D

https://twitter.com/sondreholstenge/status/801202136843423745

My browser doesn't load the tweet....click on the link to see this film if yours is as unfriendly as mine...
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on November 24, 2016, 09:28
Well, it seems to be going kinda slow at the AG2R camp, wonder if they'll catch up to speed in time for 2017 season. :D

https://twitter.com/sondreholstenge/status/801202136843423745

My browser doesn't load the tweet....click on the link to see this film if yours is as unfriendly as mine...

This seems to be an online trend at the moment, these scenes filmed in real time but with 'cast members' frozen into a particular pose. It is called "Mannequin Challenge". I don't follow social media much these days so I'm not sure of the origin, but it has certainly what the kids call "gone viral".

This may not be you, but recent versions of Firefox have implemented "tracking protection" (a shield icon in the left side of the address bar), an option to block certain third party scripts, including the one from Twitter used to render tweets, because they record basic data about the end user. As a result, anyone with tracking protection enabled will not see tweets embedded on this or any other non-Twitter website.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: pastronef on November 24, 2016, 09:41
https://www.twitter.com/millarmind/status/801681918093889536
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: pastronef on November 25, 2016, 13:04
Bardet interview

https://www.twitter.com/Cyclingnewsfeed/status/802092159935463424
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: just some guy on November 30, 2016, 14:01
https://twitter.com/Velorooms/status/803961644992917504
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: search on April 19, 2017, 12:56
I missed those interviews with Sebastien Turgot over the winter. He didn't have many good things to say about his former team...

Quote
(gt)

Sébastien, after nine years with the pros, you will not leave next season. How did your adventure end?

Very bad. To tell the truth, it really did not finish well with the team Ag2r La Mondiale. I feel like I was taken for a :censored, I like the eleven riders who were at the end of the contract. I was not renewed despite all the sacrifices made for the team and good returns I had. The current situation has led to the shutdown of several teams and put more riders on the market. And for Vincent Lavenu it was not difficult to find new candidates. I ran three years with Ag2r La Mondiale but today I think I made a mistake by signing in this team. I did the job for the others when some advised me to run more for my face. Everyone does it, but me it is not in my mentality. And I was not rewarded for that.

[...]

With Ag2r La Mondiale, we started on the classics with four leaders. In this context it was impossible to make a result. Already the big leaders do not always arrive with an entire team at their service and the means put around them ... We did not have appropriate equipment. The classics were disputed on the same bikes as the climbers, with unsuitable casings. The settings were not good. I even developed a tendonitis in 2015.

[...]

Clearly, we have never benefited from the means that are those set up for climbers. The Ag2r La Mondiale team is climbers, climbers, climbers. The rest we do not care. We were not lodged in the same way. Romain Bardet, who has everything he wants as a leader, could leave when he wanted to train in Sierra Nevada with two or three riders, two masseurs, a mechanic, a coach, a sports director ... We, When we wanted to go on a stage to prepare the classics, we had to pay out of our pocket.

[...]

After the sacrifices made for the team, not being kept was hard to cash. I then went through a bad period during which I no longer touched the bike. Added to this was an unexpected check in the summer that I missed at my home. I renovated my attic, the bell did not work, and I did not hear knocking. The UCI personally advised me of this first no-show but by honesty I preferred to alert the team. I had exchanges by mail because from then on nobody answered me by phone. And in retaliation I was forbidden to run until further notice. They were not correct, they disgusted me with the bike. And then after weeks without any further contact, I was reminded one day in October that I would run Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours.

I went there, yes, even though I had almost done a meter of bike since July. There, I had dealings with Calimeros. Suddenly the guys came to see me, took news, all were afraid that I would flip a lead or put them on the face - it was seen in this team. I raced Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours until the refueling, which was already a great performance given my level and the speed of the peloton.

http://www.velo101.com/pros/article/interview-de-sebastien-turgot--15945

Quote
(gt)

Your season was not that bad?

No ! Afterwards, we had little problems with my former boss, he was not very frank with his runners. But hey, it's like that, it's the world of sport. It is more a universe of sharks than bisounours.

How does the story end?

Very bad. I do not like people who are not honest and have no respect for the riders.

Have you kept in touch with your former teammates?

No. It was over, it was just co-workers, it was not friends. I completely turned the page, I bike for my pleasure as before with people I love and I appreciate and not with people who do not care about my mouth.

Have you not regretted leaving Europcar (Direct Energie since 2016)?

Sincerely, yes! I wanted to go back, I recalled at the end of the season. I really wanted to stop my career but I thought that if I wanted to find a team, it was Direct Energie. Just realize two years and finish my career in a team that I appreciate. Afterwards, things happened, I did not understand their recruitment. There is a runner like Bryan Coquard who needs someone to take him to the sprint, which I know to do but they preferred to take Jonathan Hivert. I do not find the interest. Luckily they have friends in the bike. Unfortunately, the bike is like that, the results do not count too much, everything runs through the circle of friends.


https://actuteamsport.com/2017/02/13/sebastien-turgot-je-suis-loin-detre-arrive-chez-les-amateurs-pour-faire-mon-champion/
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Echoes on June 04, 2017, 11:43
(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/18/87y0.jpg)(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/18/4fvk.jpg)
(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/18/jbml.jpg)(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/18/q803.jpg)
(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/18/t143.jpg)

An interesting article about Oliver Naesen in the extra cycling guide of the 26 January Sport Magazine. It's a bit outdated now, it was at the start of the season but it's nice to know where he comes from, I think.  ;)


“Luck Smiles to the Audacious Ones”

But for his training mate Greg Van Avermaet, Oliver Naesen is the only Belgian to win a World Tour (semi-)classic last year. It’s the greatest achievement of a fast-moving up career which is even surprising himself.

Quote
The start and finish lines are no secret for me. I only need to survive what is in between both! #overpoort#OHN

Quote
Great tweet, isn’t it? (he laughs) I posted it just before my first participation at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2015. It refers to the time I was a student physical education at the Ghent university. I made the most of my student life. Once a week we went to the Overpoort [an area with about 35 cafés/pubs, nightshops, fries shops, bowlings, etc in Ghent usually frequented by students] to make a party. Not to dance, just drink. It often occurred that we missed the first class the day after. No need to explain in details! I was living in a flat – I was only living 20.km from it – but I was often sleeping with friends. I always was along but was not the worse. Most of all I witnessed a lot of things like a friend being transported into hospital or another one who disappeared in the heat of the night. The day after we were worried until we got a message telling us he was in Bruges. He caught a train and fell asleep. Nothing too serious after all and these are fond memories. Most of all we laughed a lot like the day we went out in Bruges. A friend had drunk so much we had to put him into his bed. But before that we covered him with swastikas with a felt-tip pen (hm not something to be proud of!). The next morning he went to get some croissants for us … without looking himself in the mirror. He went to the baker’s shop and got back to the flat in these conditions. One of my best memories!

Identity Crisis

Quote
It lasted until I understood it wouldn’t work. In my third year I still had first-year classes. I stopped after three years. It was September 2012 after the “second session” [that’s what we call the August/September exams in Belgium for those who failed in June]. Of course my parents were not very happy but life goes on. I could not stand still. I was already 22. More than a week later I was at work. All of a sudden I was taken in the real life: up at 5am, working till 4pm. You could not think of a stronger contrast even if I knew what working was: at my last year at uni, with a point system [honestly I don’t know what it is, it did not exist when I was a student] I had to days off a week and capitalised on it to work with research agencies in the area.
After my studies I became a courier for a washing plant in Lokeren (Initial). I was driving round everywhere with a delivery van. I went to 80 customers everyday, 300 to 400km altogether. What were the other option? Without any degree it’s hard. Evening classes? I didn’t find it too rewarding [he’s wrong, I think it’s the best!]. I had a bit of an identity crisis. Not really depressed because I knew I could only blame myself but I had regrets. I was not an exemplary student but I wasn’t a disaster either. With a little effort I would have managed it. Some were less good than me and two years later they completed their studies. If I went less out and didn’t ride my bike so much I would also have had my degree but I like doing everything and so I did half of everything. That was the problem.

I started racing in 2006 after Tom Boonen’s world title. I saw the Worlds on TV with Jonathan, a friend who is now working in a bike shop. After the finish we said to ourselves that the following year we had to apply for a licence. At that time there was a real Boonen effect: in 2006 the amount of licence application at novice level had dramatically risen.

I expected a lot of my first race but of course I was disappointed. I was competing against guys who had raced for several years. Besides I only was 140cm. I grew up during the 6th grade holidays and also in my family nobody has ever raced. I rode my bike but did not train, not out of laziness but because I did not know anything. Fortunately in Kerksken (Haaltert) there was a small team you could start in even though you had never raced before.

In the following season, before our two junior years we joined a closer team: the Labiekes of Denderhoutem. The second year we had a more than passable team with Moreno De Pauw, Gijs Van Hoecke and Wouter Wippert who are now all pros. They were the leaders and I was observing them. I did not have their standard. I was always selected for the Interclub races but as the 6th or 7th rider. I never won, at best I was top10. At that time if I had said I wanted to turn pro they would all have thought I was crazy. It was not even an objective because it seemed so unrealistic. The bike was just a hobby. I liked it and did not have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do later. At school I took Modern Languages/Science in order to have a maximum of options for the future.

Spartan Winter

Quote
I only won my first race in 2012 in my last U23 season shortly before I left uni. This victory brought me so much confidence that I started to think I could do more sacrifices for cycling: working, training, eating & sleeping. Not turning pro but managing to race in an amateur team and make ends meet.
From that day on I got up every day at 5am. I worked for the washing plant from 6am to 4pm, went back home at 4.30pm, ate some bread and went on training, sometimes until 10am with a waterproof jacket and lamps. I only stayed home if it was raining too heavily or if it was too windy and trained on the home trainer. After training I had a shower, ate and went to bed. I wasn’t watching TV anymore. Next day, all over again. It lasted for two years. I’m telling myself it was insane and have to look at my files on Strava or Training-Peaks to believe it. For two years I had no life: I didn’t see my friends, only kept in touch by WhatsApp. 

In 2012 I won three kermesses but I was only beating students of physical education teachers, no pros you know. During the following season after training all winter long I was really good. I was among the best elites without contract in Belgium. I won seven races including the kermess in Lede. Though there weren’t really good pros at the start it was still open to pros. An incredible moment. For me it was like being World Champion. At that time I started to dream a little bit. I understood that some pros were worse than me. In the pro races when we were racing in groups I had the feeling I could keep up with the best. At that time I had the chance to sign with Cibel, a conti team which could enable me to take part in 1.1 races or even in the Tour of Belgium. Besides I was paid for my expenses. It was a nice progression because until then I only could race for club teams.

At a certain moment my coach, Koen Scheerlinck of Ninove took me apart and said
Quote
You have too many capacities to keep on working and racing. I prepared a winter training plan for you: it’s do or die. If you can manage it you’ll be good. If not you’ll stop racing in February. In winter 2013/14 I trained like now: 4 or 5 hour sessions. 20 hours a week after work. A Spartan winter.

Not Letting Naesen Ride

Quote
At that time  I was lucky that my girlfriend accepted that rhythm. She was still a student and I didn’t have to go on holiday with her. So I dedicated all my holidays to cycling. Mid-May 2014 I contended at the Puivelde pro kermess. I found myself in front with Kenny De Ketele of Topsport and Francis De Greef of Wanty. I told my team director, Gaspard Van Peteghem I was sure to win. We were racing in his own backyard and I wanted to please him. A bit later Hilaire Van der Schueren came to us and ordered De Greef no longer to take turns. Then Hans De Clercq did the same with De Ketele. At that time there was a great rivalry between Topsport and Wanty. So I was a bit nervous and asked both riders and their team directors if that was the reason I took a day off. They were the professionals! That day I ended up winning.

I later learned that De Clercq called Walter Planckaert after that race to tell him that he had seen a rider worth following while I was already a two-year elite without contract and in theory too old because at Topsport they only take U23 riders but I was the best elite without contract. I’m saying it without bragging: I almost won everything, including two pro races and two interclubs and if I didn’t win I came 2nd or 3rd. 2014 was the year of my first breakthrough.

So Walter [Planckaert] came at my home to make me sign my first pro contract. He told me that he too had to work in winter when he was still amateur and even pro. He drove a lorry. Walter is a sensitive man and I think he found a bit of himself in me. Our stories have things in common. I owe a lot to Hans and Walter. I would never have turned pro without them.

One month after that race in Puivelde before I even signed that contract I got an offer by Kurt Van de Wouwer asking me whether I wanted to be a stagiaire at Lotto. I was of course “on my cloud” and I immediately called my employer to ask for a few unpaid holidays. Since it seemed difficult I answered that I was going to give my notice of termination. Even if it was just for two months I absolutely wanted to taste pro cycling life. I had a nice little job but that was not what I missed.

So I was a trainee at Lotto, which was unusual since I did not come from their development team nor any of their youth teams but in all the TopCompetitie races Kurt probably had to repeat to his men: “Don’t let Naesen ride”.

That probably means he believed in me. Fortunately. Late July 2014 I stopped working and a week later I raced the Tour of Denmark as a trainee. These were a two and a half month dream, the most beautiful ones thus far. On TV I watched a lot André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts, Jens Debusschere, etc and all of a sudden I was racing on their side. I was sitting next to them in the bus, they were talking to me and considered me one of their own. It was an honour and it was fantastic.

Push Back the Limits

Quote
The greatest thing of the story is that I didn’t expect that. While most riders are pros at age 21 it seemed unrealistic to me. In Belgium if you are late to break through you are quickly scrapped but three years later I am definitely up there. In my life I’ve several times had to take calculated risks. Luck smiles to the audacious ones. He who follows like sheep does not reach anywhere. My bets paid off. I’ve been lucky but I also forced luck by training hard in winter. I’m proud of having established myself among the pros out of the blue. Knowing what real life is has helped me. When I was at Topsport I heard youngsters whining because they had to train for 3 or 4 hours the following day. I said to myself they should know what I’ve been through…

These last few years everything came quickly. I had a two-year contract with Topsport but after a year I could sign with IAM cycling, a World Tour team. At my first season I was selected for the Tour of France, won Plouay and was selected for the Worlds.

I don’t know where it is going to stop. A pro rider should not think about his limits he has to believe everything is possible and it’s true. I realised that during the last Lowlands Tour. At that time I felt I was one of the best, which is rare. I wondered if the other guys were bad but actually I was strong at that time.

I hope I can start the 2017 season like I ended 2016. It could be very good. At AG2R I’ll be co-leader with Stijn Vandenbergh for the spring classics. It offers possibilities. Stijn does not want me to be at his service and I don’t want him to race for me either. We get along very well. He even was the one to insist on the team signing me.

In the Flemish classics I want to battle it out for win. Even at the Tour of Flanders and at Paris-Roubaix, yeah. Of course I got more chances to fail than to manage it. I’ve already raced those races twice and the day before in my bed I’m telling myself you never know. Of course Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan are not ten times but two hundred times better than me but they will be watched out for. There are possibilities for anonymous second-tier riders like me. At the briefings no team director will say that you should not let Naesen ride. With that status I can do a lot of things.

The “Parelvissers” [“Pearl Fishers”] of the Donkmeer

While taking a coffee at the Donkmeer in Berlare, Oliver Naesen tells the story of how he landed at the Parelvissers, the training band founded by Greg Van Avermaet and former Belgian champion Preben Van Hecke.
Quote
With Cibel I was a teammate of the Ongena brothers, Thomas and Matthias, cousins and training partners to Greg. They asked Greg if I could join the winter training and he said yes. I already was part of their discussion group on Messenger and later on WhatsApp but in the day because of the job it was hard to train. Things only changed when I turned pro. A few months ago Greg came to live 300m away from here while he was transforming his house. Preben lives 500m further. When we are in Belgium we started at 9.30am for Dendermonde where Greg is now living. My brother Lawrence is pro since this year (at WB Veranclassic-Aqua Protect, ed) and he also trains with us.
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: L'arri on April 16, 2018, 13:09
Well, just look at Jan Bakelants. Wrecked at Lombardia but visible again at the pointy end in Spring 2018.

Bakelants has been making steady progress since his return at the end of March. On Saturday he told Sporza, "I never thought I'd be able to ride Amstel. I'm satisfied just to be riding here.

"I feel like I'm still missing something. I still have to improve a bit to get back to my old level ... I don't have the watts I had from before the injury.

"I'm really aiming [to be good] for autumn, I feel that I need some time to be completely ready again, and that should be possible from July, but that's too late to make the Tour selection."

http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/wielrennen/1.3179091 (NL)
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: t-72 on February 11, 2019, 21:21
About the bikes
While watching the Valenciana last stage, I noticed #ag2r AG2R had new bikes  and they looked a bit odd, but I couldn't make out which brand they were. It was a long name (for bikes), or rather two names, and it was written with size 12 fonts, or something like that. Completely unreadable while the race is on, for example when  Alexis Gougeard was towing the break to the inevitable catch. It turns out they are "Eddy Merckx" bikes, which should be a household name to all cycling fans but surely just Merckx( in font 72+) should do - and be more recognizable. Where are the product designers and brand-name marketers?  :S


..but the groupsets?

Also I don't think they have a sponsor for the mechanical parts but it seems they have tested and decided to go with Shimano. It's a bit bizarre because if they are not sponsored and made a choice, for themselves, that's actually a statement more worth than any sponsored team could give Shimano  :-x

Here's some background (https://www.matosvelo.fr/index.php?post/2689/ce-sera-finalement-du-shimano-pour-ag2r-la-mondiale-sur-les-velos-eddy-merckx) (en Francais, bien sûr!)

Quote
"après plusiers tests sur nos noveaux vélos, nous seront équipés de groupes Shimano"

English, my translation: after several tests with our new bikes, we will be equpped with Shimano groupsets
Title: Re: AG2R news
Post by: Leadbelly on February 12, 2019, 05:28
Yeah I noticed their bikes in the TT were a bit weird. Tbh they almost looked like a different brand of bikes with stickers over the name, but maybe the Merckx bit was just in really small writing as you say.