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AG2R - La Mondiale could need a thread

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I think GVA did a good spring all things considered. He's getting old and it's hard to compete with those monsters, but he's still very close.
Naesen was mediocre.
Cosnefroy was coming back from an injury.
Paret-Peintre is a good rider but doesn't deserve (yet?) to be on that list.
Jungels has been abysmal since the beginning of 2021. Post DQS hangover? He didn't realy have a chance to show his form in the Ardennes though.

Overall a below expectations spring campaign, but I didn't expect them to set the world on fire in the first place.

I was quite interested to see what it would be like with them going more into the classics' direction. They sure had a few issues with injuries. Van Avermaet was quite good. (Jungels, honestly, I never believed in him as a rider that much and wasn't surprised QS let him go. In my eyes he overachieved already. He might prove me wrong once he's settled at AG2R.) But I was more thinking about how they play it all, and whether they will go down this route further or go back into GC direction mid-term.
 
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Cosnefroy pretty underwhelming so far this season.

Naesen didnt do much in the classics.

Jungels not had an easy time. Looks a shadow of himself from a couple years ago and crashed in his latest race, Amstel.

GVA has been solid and his 3rd place in Flanders was a very good performance, but he is not one of the best anymore.

Their turned focus to the classics, one-day races and targeting some more victories is not really panning out so far. Only victory this season to this day came in one of the first races this season when Aurélien Paret-Peintre won Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise.

They need to have a good Tour and hope they can grab some stages from the breakaway perhaps, to salvage this season.
 
interesting. There's that old sponsorship connection between Ag2R and Décathlon of course, but recently it looked more like Cofidis would be the team to go with.

And not necessarily this early... Van Rysel did introduce their first high end bikes in January, but will they be even close to BMC's level?
Wonder who will actually build the frames. On the other hand, it would be great if they rode off the rack Decathlon bikes...
 
interesting. There's that old sponsorship connection between Ag2R and Décathlon of course, but recently it looked more like Cofidis would be the team to go with.

And not necessarily this early... Van Rysel did introduce their first high end bikes in January, but will they be even close to BMC's level?

Lots of riders aren't really happy with the BMC bikes apparently but yeah, I don't believe that a Van Rysel bike will be better.

Surprising to me too, knowing they have clothing partnership with Cofidis.

also Total is rumored to change bikes, no more Specialized

Well yeah, Sagan gone is Specialized gone
 
Wonder who will actually build the frames. On the other hand, it would be great if they rode off the rack Decathlon bikes...

ENAHPPY3T5BJRFSOQOEGA7TIT4.jpg
 
Wonder who will actually build the frames. On the other hand, it would be great if they rode off the rack Decathlon bikes...
AG2R actually rode Decathlon bikes during the Kirsipuu era!
487706-22980693-2560-1440.jpg


Van Rysel probably won't be on BMC's level quality wise. But then again, when did AG2R ever ride high-end bikes before they switched to BMC? Decathlon, Focus, Factor. Confirms AG2R is back to their small French teams though. Despite the Citroën sponsorship.

Regarding Look it's surprising that they chose to set sail with the worst French team of them all. At least if we take Cofidis budget versus results into account. Although it was even more surprising that Look completely dissappeared from the pro peloton in first instance.

Francaise des Jeux as the current major French team of course has a long standing partnership with Lapierre bikes. But Look really must've taken quality steps down and primarily lived from their ancient good reputation if they couldn't find any team for years and then nothing better than Cofidis again.
 
AG2R actually rode Decathlon bikes during the Kirsipuu era!
487706-22980693-2560-1440.jpg




Regarding Look it's surprising that they chose to set sail with the worst French team of them all.

if they couldn't find any team for years and then nothing better than Cofidis again.

Cofidis has 9 wins this season. they rode Look in the past. it's a comeback of sort. Look has a good French market, and it works. I find it right, I would have found it strange to see Look with, say, DSM, Bora or others
 
All I can say is these Decathlon stores that they have in France are incredible. We used to have Decathlon in Denmark a while back and their rep was pretty trash, but god damn these mega stores they have down there are top notch if you looking for anything cycling related for relatively cheap money!
 
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Cofidis has 9 wins this season. they rode Look in the past. it's a comeback of sort. Look has a good French market, and it works. I find it right, I would have found it strange to see Look with, say, DSM, Bora or others
I just wondered why Look disappeared completely in first instance. I always saw them as big French bike manufacturer with good reputation and then they were suddenly gone from the pro peleton.

Especially since AG2R looked for new bike sponsorship during that time and Look delivered CSC & Once in the past.
 
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So far, it looks like the Decathlon bikes are working well, and everyone seems to be super happy. Here's a bit about it from an interview with Bennett :

While those early incarnations of the squad, perhaps like most French teams of the time, had a reputation for being a little behind the times, a partnership with French aerospace firm Onera, among others, has helped Decathlon turn their Van Rysel bikes into one of the most coveted bikes on the market.

“I spoke with Stephen in the summer and he was telling me about the Van Rysel bikes and I saw all the numbers but you don’t really know what they’re like until you get out on the road,” Bennett says of the cheapest bike in the WorldTour.

“They’re super light, stiff, they handle really well and are very well put together. We have Shimano groupsets, Swiss Side wheels, which are super quick and stiff, and Continental tyres, so we’ve been railing the corners here on camp. The equipment is great. It’s a bloody good package.


And in other news: it's time to get the EBH hypetrain rolling again, btw. :p

“Edvald is flying,” says Bennett of the 36-year-old Norwegian veteran, who signed last week. “He attacked me and Dries in training today and we were hanging on. He was strong.

@DNP-Old may have another explanation though, I guess.
 
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So far, it looks like the Decathlon bikes are working well, and everyone seems to be super happy. Here's a bit about it from an interview with Bennett :

While those early incarnations of the squad, perhaps like most French teams of the time, had a reputation for being a little behind the times, a partnership with French aerospace firm Onera, among others, has helped Decathlon turn their Van Rysel bikes into one of the most coveted bikes on the market.

“I spoke with Stephen in the summer and he was telling me about the Van Rysel bikes and I saw all the numbers but you don’t really know what they’re like until you get out on the road,” Bennett says of the cheapest bike in the WorldTour.

“They’re super light, stiff, they handle really well and are very well put together. We have Shimano groupsets, Swiss Side wheels, which are super quick and stiff, and Continental tyres, so we’ve been railing the corners here on camp. The equipment is great. It’s a bloody good package.


And in other news: it's time to get the EBH hypetrain rolling again, btw. :p

“Edvald is flying,” says Bennett of the 36-year-old Norwegian veteran, who signed last week. “He attacked me and Dries in training today and we were hanging on. He was strong.

@DNP-Old may have another explanation though, I guess.

How cheap is the bike?
 
Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if the Decathlon bikes are better quality than the equipment AG2R got from Focus & Factor!

Decathlon doesn't sell complete trash. It's budget choice material. Passable quality for a fair price. Using cycling as a marketing platform they certainly have given AG2R decent bikes.
 
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