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AG2R La Mondiale looking to repeat 2014 Tour de France performance

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Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Bakelants

Jan Bakelants (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Manager Vincent Lavenu and Romain Bardet

Team Manager Vincent Lavenu and Romain Bardet (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Manager Vincent Lavenu

Team Manager Vincent Lavenu (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R on the press conference podium

AG2R on the press conference podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Bakelants

Jan Bakelants (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Bakelants and Johan Vansummeren

Jan Bakelants and Johan Vansummeren (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R on the press conference podium

AG2R on the press conference podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R on the press conference podium

AG2R on the press conference podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The press await the start of the press conference

The press await the start of the press conference (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jean-Christophe Peraud speaks to the media.

Jean-Christophe Peraud speaks to the media. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Bakelants is interviewed following the formal presentation.

Jan Bakelants is interviewed following the formal presentation. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Manager Vincent Lavenu

Team Manager Vincent Lavenu (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Romain Bardet meets the press.

Romain Bardet meets the press. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Romain Bardet is surrounded by microphones.

Romain Bardet is surrounded by microphones. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Johan Vansummeren

Johan Vansummeren (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mikael Cherel

Mikael Cherel (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jean-Christophe Peraud flanked by Team Manager Vincent Lavenu

Jean-Christophe Peraud flanked by Team Manager Vincent Lavenu (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jean-Christophe Peraud

Jean-Christophe Peraud (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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AG2R on the press conference podium.

AG2R on the press conference podium. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Manager Vincent Lavenu

Team Manager Vincent Lavenu (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Manager Vincent Lavenu

Team Manager Vincent Lavenu (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Johan Vansummeren and Jan Bakelants

Johan Vansummeren and Jan Bakelants (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Bakelants

Jan Bakelants (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Manager Vincent Lavenu

Team Manager Vincent Lavenu (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Romain Bardet

Romain Bardet (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jean-Christophe Peraud

Jean-Christophe Peraud (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ben Gastauer

Ben Gastauer (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexis Vuillermoz

Alexis Vuillermoz (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mikael Cherel answers questions

Mikael Cherel answers questions (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

AG2R La Mondiale come into the 2015 Tour de France with last year’s runner-up in Jean-Christophe Péraud and up-and-coming leader Romain Bardet, who finished sixth last year during his second attempt at the race.

Bardet has shined in his lead up to the Tour, earning multiple podium finishes and winning the Critérium du Dauphiné’s fifith stage, which shared the same route as stage 17 of this year's Tour. Péraud, on the other hand, has struggled recently, quiting the French time trial championship with a third of the course remaining. Péraud admitted during his team’s pre-race press conference that he considered not starting this year's Tour, but he has recovered well and is now motivated for the race.

“I have also partially regained confidence,” he said during a press conference at the team headquarters. “I look at the Tour with motivation. I'd like to make the top five again but I'd be just as happy with a top 10. However, like everyone, I'll have to avoid the pitfalls of the first week before I pursue further goals.”

Bardet, meanwhile, said he plans on putting the lessons learned during last year’s race to good use this year.

“Last year I've learned what it requires to captain a team, especially out of the actual racing,” he said. “I'll focus more on the race this time.”

AG2R-La Mondiale Team Manager Vincent Lavenu admitted that the team’s results last year – with a rider on the final podium, another in the top 10 and a stage win for Blel Kadri along the way – set the bar pretty high for the team this year.

“We won't raise the bar of our goals higher,” he said. “We'd be happy with one rider in the top five and another one in the top 10 again.”

Ag2r La Mondiale: Romain Bardet (Fra), Mikael Cherel (Fra), Ben Gastauer (Ned), Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra), Johan Vansummeren (Bel), Damien Gaudin (Fra), Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra), Jan Bakelants (Bel) and Christophe Riblon (Fra)

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