AG2R La Mondiale head to the Giro d’Italia with double contenders in Domenico Pozzovivo and Jean-Christophe Peraud. The team is planning around the pair’s success in the mountains and time trials to bring the French team a top overall placing.
The team noted in a press release that Pozzovivo is looking to come back to the Giro after crashing during stage 3 at last year’s event, which forced him to abandon. The Italian has shown good form in the early season with seventh overall at the Tour Down Under, eighth at Tour of Oman, and most recently seventh overall at Giro del Trentino. He is aiming for a top-five overall this year at the Giro d'Italia.
"One year after his frightening crash (on stage 3), Domenico is coming back to the Giro," the team press release read. "He is really excited to ride his country’s Grand Tour. He finished four times in the GC top 10 and he is planning to have the same result as two years ago, which is a fifth place overall.
"He will form, along with Jean-Christophe, an effective and experienced pair. Both of them will be able to challenge every top riders of the competition."
Peraud also showed good form at the Giro del Trentino with a ninth place overall. He finished second in the Tour de France two years ago and will focus his efforts this year on the Italian Grand Tour. He will also aim for a top-five overall result.
"Jean-Christophe made the promise to himself to excel during the Giro," the press release stated. "The almost 39-year-old rider is about to discover the famous race. He has worked a lot to have all the odds in his favour to achieve his goal: A GC top 5.
"Over the last few weeks he has been training in Italy to recognize some key stages. He showed he was in great shape in Tour of Trentino (10th overall). For the Giro, he will share his leader role with Pozzovivo, then the race will decide."
The team will also include Patrick Gretsch, who will aim to do well in the event's three time trials, and opportunists Blel Kadri and Matteo Montaguti for breakaways and aggressive stages.
AG2R La Mondiale for the Giro d'Italia: Domenico Pozzovivo, Jean-Christoph Peraud, Guillaume Bonnafond, Axel Domont, Hubert Dupont, Patrick Gretsch, Hugo Houle, Blel Kadri and Mattéo Montaguti.