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Ben O'Connor extends to 2024 with AG2R Citroën

ARRATE EIBAR SPAIN APRIL 10 Ben Oconnor of Australia and Ag2R Citroen Team Hugh Carthy of United Kingdom and Team EF Education Nippo during the 60th ItzuliaVuelta Ciclista Pais Vasco 2021 Stage 6 a 1119km stage from Ondarroa to Arrate Eibar 535m itzulia Breakaway ehitzulia on April 10 2021 in Arrate Eibar Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images
Ben O'Connnor (AG2R Citroën) at Itzulia Basque Country (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Australian climber Ben O'Connor has extended his contract with AG2R Citroën through to the end of the 2024 season, his team confirmed on Saturday.

The 25-year-old, who joined the French squad from NTT Pro Cycling, has enjoyed a good start to his time with the team. In February, he finished fifth at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, and took sixth overall at April's Tour de Romandie, where he finished second on the queen stage to Thyon 2000.

"We are very pleased to extend Ben O’Connor’s contract for three seasons," said AG2R Citroën team boss Vincent Lavenu in a team press release.

"He is a talented cyclist who quickly adapted to the spirit of our team. His presence is an asset for stage races and his age means that he still has a lot of room to grow and progress."

O'Connor is currently competing at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he lies 13th overall heading into the summit finishes of the final weekend.

Back in January, O'Connor told Cyclingnews that he was excited about the chance of scenery that came with signing for AG2R Citroën after spending four years at NTT/Dimension Data setup, adding that he was aiming to make his Tour de France debut in 2021. He's set to start the race, which kicks off in Brest on June 26.

"I remember in the years before they showed interest, but I was too scared to move or go anywhere because I had just started making friends. It was exactly the right time to change and have a different atmosphere. It was the perfect thing for me – I didn't want to stay stuck in the same bubble as all the Australian and American guys.

"It'd be a dream to start [the Tour], especially being in a French team, that's even more hype. That'd be my main aim for the season, to start there and bring the same thing as I did to the Giro. I can't see why there would be no lack of opportunity to achieve something like that.

"Grand Tours are my best forte. I tend not to dip, and kind of stay the same form. If I could do the Vuelta as well that'd be perfect."

O'Connor has four professional victories to his name so far, including stage 17 to Madonna di Campiglio at last year's Giro. The win came a day after placing second in San Daniele del Friuli, and having already secured his future with AG2R Citroën earlier in the race.

He isn't the only rider in the peloton to have extended his contract in recent days, with Critérium du Dauphiné stage 1 winner Brent Van Moer adding two years to his Lotto Soudal contract, while Simon Geschke and Pierre-Luc Périchon have both extended with Cofidis for two years.