Roche and Péraud lead the line
French squad AG2R La Mondiale announced its Tour de France selection on Sunday evening, just after the French Championship road race taken by FDJ sprinter Nacer Bouhanni. AG2R fast man Jimmy Casper finished sixth, and team manager Vincent Lavenu decided not to include him in the line-up, which still had five spots left to fill.
The French outfit will focus on entering the top ten of general classification and creating breakaway opportunities in the medium and high mountain stages. With Jean-Christophe Péraud and Nicolas Roche as co-leaders aiming at the overall classification, the team will be aiming to win on the more challenging terrain. Riders like Hubert Dupont, Christophe Riblon or Mikaël Chérel will be given the freedom to look for stage-winning opportunities.
Another objective for Lavenu, as in 2011, will be a podium placing in the team classification. The squad has been struggling to obtain victories so far this season and will be under pressure to deliver at the French grand tour, the greatest season objective not only for French teams.
The complete AG2R La Mondiale line-up at the start in Liège this upcoming Saturday will be: Maxime Bouet, Mikael Chérel, Hubert Dupont, Blel Kadri, Sébastien Minard, Lloyd Mondory, Jean-Christophe Péraud, Christophe Riblon and Nicolas Roche.
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