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Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R)
Mondory to return, lead French squad in Italy
Twins Alexandre and Vladimir Efimkin have been named as part of Ag2R-La Mondiale's final selection for this weekend's Milan-San Remo.
The Russian pair are part of a number of changes to the French team's Milan-San Remo line-up of twelve months ago. They will take to the start line alongside the French squad's highest place finisher at the 2009 edition of the event, Lloyd Mondory. The Frenchman finished 11th place last year and will be one of just three members of that squad who will return for the 2010 race.
Mondory, Sébastien Hinault and René Mandri are the only riders to return from last year, with the Efimkins, Maxime Bouet, Blel Kadri and French road race Champion Dimitri Champion completing the 2010 line-up. The team were dealt a blow last month when the in-form Rinaldo Nocentini crashed and broke his leg at the GP dell'Insubria-Lugano. Nicholas Roche, Martin Elmiger and Yuriy Krivtsov are the other Ag2R riders that will forgo the event after participation last season.
The last French team to win Milan–San Remo was Super U-Raleigh-Fiat in 1989, when Laurent Fignon successfully defended his 1988 title. He remains the only two-time French winner of the Italian Classic. Laurent Jalabert was the last French winner in 1995 while riding for the Spanish ONCE team.
Ag2R-La Mondiale for the 101st Milan-San Remo: Maxime Bouet, Alexander Efimkin, Vladimir Efimkin, Dimitri Champion, Sébastien Hinault, Blel Kadri, René Mandri and Lloyd Mondory.