AG2R - La Mondiale could need a thread

So, I was thinking of making a thread dedicated to teams that don't yet deserve their own thread to parallel the rider one, but ended up thinking that was a rather foolish endeavour.

Anyway, I think that recent rumours about the departures of Bardet and Latour make a thread for this team relevant (I don't think there is one, at least).

Because what will they do now?

I mean, they have (the) Naesen(s) and in part Dillier - if he can get his act together - for the cobbled classics, and with Benoît Cosnefroy they also have a rider I think will end up to be a real winner. Ardennes specialist, stage hunter, potential world champion, the works. I honestly believe he can become that good. But he won't win the Tour or come close (of course we would have said the same about Alaphilippe three years - or 12.5 months - ago), so who will they headhunt to fill the especially Bardet-shaped void?

With Clément Champoussin they seem to have a rider that could become a Grand Tour specialist but no Bardet and Latour must free up money to get a bigger name for next year.

Could they lure a Yates brother? A Superman? Any other brilliant guesses?
 
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I think at this point Latour would be the bigger loss for the team than Bardet.

Maybe try to sign both of the Yates brothers, but if they lose both Bardet and Latour I'd at least go after one of the Yates twins.
 
On the same day it is announced they'll ride BMC bikes next year, Van Avermaet has offered his services to them. 1+1. That said, a GC core of Champou and Paret-Peintre is rubbish. Given that Sivakov is basically French, I would go after him, and I think some interest would be mutual.
 
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Latour is younger and Bardet hasn't continued to improve. If anything he's declined some. Latour appears to still be improving.
Latour leaving would be the absolute least of my worries. I really don't know what he has done that warrants for him to be rated so highly. He's a good rider, but if he were to lead my team I'd be shaking in my boots.

Bardet meanwhile has become so underrated, due to one(!) bad year. Said bad year probably being the result of wanting it too much, doing too much, rather than a decline in capabilities. That's why it was so refreshing to see him go a different route this year, going the Pinot way, without the pressure of the Tour and just trying new things on the fly. I was really intrigued to watch him in the Giro. Bardet has and will always have a much, much higher ceiling than Latour.
 
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I see Latour as more of a one day racer/stage winner sort than a GC man, he rides too agressive to hang in for 3 weeks. That said he would be absolute team leader without Bardet, so I've no idea why he wants to leave - especially to drop down to pro-conti as the rumours say.

I can only assume AG2R have already got some new signings planned, othewise why let them both go?
 
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What AGR2 has always lacked is a top level sprinter who gets wins on the board to take pressure off the team and pacify sponsors. Have posted that AGR2 are interested in A.Yates - This could go either way.
 
Latour lacks concentration to be a real GC contender for Grand Tours.

Concerning his new team choice, I feel like he wants to be a leader, but he doesn’t want to be THE leader, if that makes any sense.

Now I hope injuries will leave him be.
 
It's actually funny that they get a thread now. It probably shows that the team is mostly Bardet to us, even though that is unfair towards the others.

I have a thing for the Naesens and Cosnefroy, but yes, they are probably going to bring in somebody new.

Lopez would be nice in case Astana does not survive this season.
The Yates are great racers but somehow I have a hard time imagining them at AG2R. But that's just something about Brits and French and character stuff, I guess in terms of racing they would fit very well.

Okay, totally made up and wild speculation: What if they tried to lure Alaphilippe next year? That's in case he wants to become a GC rider.

Why does Latour want to leave for TDE... I guess they are simply willing to pay him way better? Or is there anything at AG2R the riders are not content with?

other names I'm randomly serving on my plate:
Kelderman?
Dylan Teuns?
Betancur :cool:
 
The Yates are great racers but somehow I have a hard time imagining them at AG2R. But that's just something about Brits and French and character stuff, I guess in terms of racing they would fit very well.

Okay, totally made up and wild speculation: What if they tried to lure Alaphilippe next year? That's in case he wants to become a GC rider.
Adam Yates has a history on the French continental circuit when he was very young, so it's not as farfetched as it seems.

And given that Cosnefroy is the new Alaphilippe, it would be a bit weird if they head-hunted the old Cosnefroy (who is also bound to QuickStep for next year).
 
Adam Yates has a history on the French continental circuit when he was very young, so it's not as farfetched as it seems.

And given that Cosnefroy is the new Alaphilippe, it would be a bit weird if they head-hunted the old Cosnefroy (who is also bound to QuickStep for next year).
Yes, the "take two of the same kind to increase your chances that one will work out"-approach. It would be similar to buying both Yates.
Okay, it would be nonsense. But I'd like it.
 
Have to agree with DNP-old regarding Champoussin. Looks like he's being overtaken left and right by younger riders and has stalled in his development by the looks of it (which wasn't top tier to begin with). If he's going to make it as a GC/GT contender, it won't be anytime soon.
 
I really expected more from Vuillermoz after he beat the best in the world on the Mur de Bretagne in the 2015 TdF, the whole 2015 season was pretty impressive, but he never became a top level puncher.
He still had a great 2017, but he never really took it too the next level.
Regarding Bardet, his problem is his unwillingness to actually work on his TT skills, he needs a team that pushes him out of his comfort zone. The guy finishes 2nd in a rainy, hard edition of Strade Bianche, his engine seems to be fine, he just seems unwilling to actually work on his big weakness.
 
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I really expected more from Vuillermoz after he beat the best in the world on the Mur de Bretagne in the 2015 TdF, the whole 2015 season was pretty impressive, but he never became a top level puncher.
He still had a great 2017, but he never really took it too the next level.
Regarding Bardet, his problem is his unwillingness to actually work on his TT skills, he needs a team that pushes him out of his comfort zone. The guy finishes 2nd in a rainy, hard edition of Strade Bianche, his engine seems to be fine, he just seems unwilling to actually work on his big weakness.
I'd be more convinced by Bardet if he actually showed flashes of GT winner level climbing in the mountains. As it is right now, I think he's really overachieved by getting 2 Tour podiums already.

He's not gonna win much more by becoming a less shitty ITTer. He's mainly gonna win more if he slightly improves on his climbing instead.
 
I'd be more convinced by Bardet if he actually showed flashes of GT winner level climbing in the mountains. As it is right now, I think he's really overachieved by getting 2 Tour podiums already.

He's not gonna win much more by becoming a less shitty ITTer. He's mainly gonna win more if he slightly improves on his climbing instead.
I'd be more convinced by Bardet if he actually showed flashes of GT winner level climbing in the mountains. As it is right now, I think he's really overachieved by getting 2 Tour podiums already.

He's not gonna win much more by becoming a less shitty ITTer. He's mainly gonna win more if he slightly improves on his climbing instead.
It's more the fact that unlike Pinot he doesn't seem to be willing to really work on his weaknesses.
 
The team will be known as AG2R CITROËN TEAM in 2021.
As a Citroen owner, I approve.

I'd argue that Bardet has shown more than flashes of top level GT climbing ability. His only real wins have come in TdF stages -- which is my main complaint about him, which is that he just does not win enough races for a guy who's podiumed twice at the Tour. That and the TT thing, of course.

I think from here on out -- assuming he doesn't overperform in this year's Tour -- he should focus on one-day races and the polka dot jersey. At a different team, of course.
 

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