AG2R, Skil-Shimano name new signings

French ProTour outfit AG2R La Mondiale and Dutch Professional Continental squad Skil-Shimano have both announced new signings for the 2011 season. AG2R has added Mathieu Perget and Romain Lemarchand for next season while Skil named German Marcel Kittel as its newest recruit.

Perget joins AG2R from Spanish squad Caisse d’Epargne, which has been unable to replace its sponsor for next season. The 25-year-old Frenchman has a handful of Grand Tours under his belt, including this year’s Tour de France, and won last year’s Tour du Limousin.

Lemarchand rode as a trainee last season before joining Big Mat - Auber 93 for 2010. The Frenchman is a strong time trialler, having won the French U23 championship last year, and also showed his stage racing abilities with fifth place overall at Ronde de l’Oise this season.

While just 22 years old, Kittel has an extensive list of results to his name. Skil-Shimano was delighted when announcing it had managed to sign the German for two seasons.

“The management of the Skil-Shimano professional cycling team has persuaded Marcel Kittel to join the team in a two-year deal. The team has followed the young German through its talent-scouting programme for a while now,” read the team’s release.

Kittel is a former European U23, World junior and German junior Time Trial Champion. He finished second overall at this year’s Mainfranken-Tour U23 but has won stages of Thüringen-Rundfahrt and Flèche du Sud. In 2006 he claimed overall victory at the Tour de Lorraine.

AG2R also announced a raft of re-signings along with the addition of Perget and Lemarchand. It has extended the contracts of Cyril Dessel, Sébastien Hinault and Yuriy Krivtsov through 2011, while Guillaume Bonnafond, Martin Elmiger, John Gadret, Blel Kadri and Rinaldo Nocentini have all signed two year contracts, taking them through to the end of 2012.

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