French team Ag2r La Mondiale is sticking to its core roster as it brings on some young talent to fill out the team for the 2010 season.
Proven bets such as yellow jersey wearer Rinaldo Nocentini, the Efimkin brothers and the improving Nicolas Roche will remain the backbone of the French ProTour squad.
Seven new riders are moving in, all of them 30 or younger. The team picks up three riders – Maxime Bouet, David Le Lay and Anthony Ravard – from the folding Agritubel team.
A few big names are leaving, including Aurelien Clerc to BMC and Alexandr Pluischin to Katusha while veteran Stephane Goubert is retiring.
The team will include a total of 28 riders, with the focus remaining the French Cup series, the Tour de France as well as doing their best in non-French ProTour events.
The team is hoping to improve on its lean, five-win season from 2009, which saw no victories in ProTour events or the grand tours. Roche came closest with second in stage 14 at the Tour de France while Martin Elmiger was third at Monte Paeschi.
Nocentini, who notched one of the team’s five wins with a stage at the Tour of California, saved the team’s season by wearing the yellow jersey for eight stages during the Tour.
Ag2r La Mondiale for 2010
José Luis Arrieta, Guillaume Bonnafond, Cyril Dessel, Hubert Dupont, Alexander and Vladimir Efimkin, Martin Elmiger, John Gadret, Sébastien Hinault, Blel Kadri, Yuriy Krivstov, Julien Loubet, René Mandri, Lloyd Mondory, Rinaldo Nocentini, Christophe Riblon, Nicolas Roche, Nicolas Rousseau, Gatis Smukulis, Ludovic Turpin and Tadej Valjavec
Julien Berard and Ben Gastauer (Chambéry), Maxime Bouet David Le Lay and Anthony Ravard (all Agritubel), Dimitri Champion (Bretagne Schuller), Kristof Goddaert (Topsport)
Aurelien Clerc (BMC), Renaud Dion (Roubaix-Lille Metropole), Stephane Goubert (retiring), Tanel Kangert (not known), Cedric Pineau (Roubaix-Lille Metropole), Alexandr Pluischin (Katusha), Stephane Poulhies (Saur Sojasun), Jean Senac (retiring), Blaise Sonnery (unknown)