Pozzovivo leads Ag2r-La Mondiale's Tour Down Under team

Italian to start 2016 season at Australian WorldTour race

Domenico Pozzovivo will start his 2016 season at the Tour Down Under for the second year in a row following Ag2r-La Mondiale's announcement of the early season rosters for its 30-rider team. Pozzovivo was fifth at the 2015 edition of the race and will start the Tour Down Under as one of the overall contenders for the ochre jersey. The French team enjoyed four overall wins at the race between 2000 and 2007 and will be aiming to gets its season off on the right note with further success in Adelaide.

33-year-old Pozzovivo will make his Tour de France debut next season riding in support of Romain Bardet but first will have the opportunity to co-lead the team at the Giro d'Italia in May where he is aiming to finish top-five. Pozzovivo will head to the Tour of Oman and Tirreno-Adriatico after the Australian race.

Cyril Gautier will make his debut for the team, having joined from Europcar, in what is also his first appearance at the Australian race. The 28-year-old then has two French stage races pencilled in for February, the Tour of the Mediterranean and the new 2.1 Tour de Provence.

Pozzovivo's support at the six-day race, which is likely to be decided on the penultimate stage to Willunga Hill, includes the likes of Tour de France stage winner Christophe Riblon, Gediminas Bagdonas, Matteo Montaguti and Alexis Gougeard who took a solo stage win at the Vuelta a Espana in September. All four riders have previously raced the event.

Rounding out the team is Jesse Sergent who makes his return to the race for the first time since 2013 having previously confirmed his appearance to Cyclingnews.

Ag2r-La Mondiale for the 2016 Tour Down Under: Gediminas Bagdonas, Cyril Gautier, Alexis Gougeard, Christophe Riblon, Domenico Pozzovivo, Matteo Montaguti and Jesse Sergent.

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