AG2R-La Mondiale has confirmed its team for the 20th edition of the Tour Down Under headlined by Pierre Latour. The French WorldTour team has lined out in Adelaide, South Australia since the race's debut in 1999 and enjoyed a record four overall wins.
In 2018, Latour will make his Australian racing debut at the race and along with Mikael Cherel leads the team's GC aspirations.
"Once again we expect Ag2r La Mondiale to be very competitive. We all know their history at our race, producing the most Santos Tour Down Under overall winners, with Gilles Maignan in 2000, Mikel Astarloza in 2003, Australia's Simon Gerrans in 2006 and most recently Martin Elmiger in 2007," race director Mike Turtur said of the AG2R-La Mondiale team announcement.
"The team sets solid foundations with their riders – I mean, you only have to look at the success Simon Gerrans has had since his first win in Adelaide. He's the only rider to have won the Santos Tour Down Under four times."
Latour, who won the French time trial title and the best young rider jersey at the Tour de Romandie in 2017, has emerged as a GC rider since finishing third at the 2015 Route du Sud. With top-ten results in his first stage race of the season, 24-year-old Latour will be aiming to replicate his success on Australian soil.
Domenico Pozzovivo, who has moved to Bahrain-Merida from 2018, was the top finisher for AG2R-La Mondiale for the last two seasons. Along with the GC focus, classics rider Stijn Vandenbergh will also start his season down under in preparation for the European spring. Frenchmen Axel Domont and Nans Peters, Italian Matteo Montaguti, and Luxembourger Ben Gastauer will also line out for AG2R-La Mondiale.
The 20th edition of the Tour Down Under takes place 14-21 January around Adelaide, South Australia. For Matt White's guide to the 2018 Tour Down Under, click here.
AG2R-La Mondiale for 2018 Tour Down Under: Mikael Cherel, Axel Domont, Ben Gastauer, Pierre Latour, Matteo Montaguti, Nans Peters, and Stijn Vandenbergh.