Oliver Naesen: Meet my new AG2R Classics teammates

Training camps
Belgian Oliver Naesen begins fifth season with AG2R (Image credit: Getty Images)

When AG2R Citroën Team signed Oliver Naesen at the end of 2016, he was seen as a way of quietly improving their meagre haul of ranking points. They were heavily focused on stage racing with Romain Bardet, who’d just finished second in the Tour de France, and Naesen - on the rise but still unheralded - was largely left to his own devices with minimal expectation. Four years on, the Belgian finds himself at the centre of a revolution at the French team, who are ditching the Grand Tours - for the immediate future at least - and going all-in for the Classics. 

With Bardet and Pierre Latour both leaving, Nasesen signed a bumper new long-term contract in the middle of lockdown last year, and has since been joined by a wave of Classics reinforcements that includes Greg Van Avermaet and Bob Jungels

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Patrick Fletcher

Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist, and former deputy editor of Cyclingnews, who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.