French Professional Continental team Ag2r has good chances of getting a ProTour licence for next season. After signing the best French GC rider at the Tour de France, Christophe Moreau, as well as this year's Tour fourth placed Francisco Mancebo, the team is looking increasingly likely to join the first class of Pro racing as of 2006.
"I believe Ag2r will be a ProTeam next year," Illes Balears rider Francisco Mancebo told Spanish daily Marca. Everything indicates that the vacant spot left by Fassa Bortolo's Giancarlo Ferretti will be occupied by Vincent Lavenu's squad, possibly even with a new co-sponsor. "The economical offer they made was impressive - I won't deny that," Mancebo continued on his decision to leave Illes Balears. This would suggest that Lavenu should have the budget needed for a ProTour license.
Mancebo further explained that his role within the team will be that of a leader also for the Tour de France, and that Christophe Moreau will be working for him at the race. "They told me that when they signed Moreau they told him that he had to work for somebody else in the Tour," he said. At first, Ag2r was looking to sign T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov, but that deal never happened.
Still wearing his Illes Balears team colours, Mancebo will take his teammate David Navas with him to France, as well as one other rider of his confidence. "Initially, that one should have been Leonardo Piepoli, but he was made another better offer so now we're looking for somebody else," Mancebo concluded. For this season, the Spaniard still has one more goal: to get on the podium of the Vuelta a España with his little baby girl Paula, born during the Tour de France.