AG2R Citroën have picked up Clément Berthet from Delko with a rare mid-season transfer. Riders are free to sign for other teams ahead of next season from August 1onwards with the UCI transfer window now officially open but mid-season moves a relatively infrequent.
However, AG2R Citroën’s Vincent Lavenu hasn’t hesitated and brought Berthet onto his roster with immediate effect, while also offer the 23-year-old a further three-year deal that will tie him to the French WorldTour team until the end of 2024.
“If you had told me at the start of the year that I would end up on a UCI WorldTour team, especially at AG2R Citroën, I wouldn't have believed you,” Berthet said in a press release issued by his new team.
“It's a legendary team, a big name in the peloton, and I'm really very happy. I am grateful to the Delko team for giving me my chance and allowing me to join AG2R Citroën in the middle of the season.”
This year is only Berthet’s first season on the road with the Frenchman coming from a mountain bike background. Something of a climber, he was Delko’s top finisher in the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge back in June, taking 13th place behind winner Miguel Angel Lopez but at AG2R Citroën he will have space and time to develop into a potential all-rounder. He will make his debut for Lavenu’s team at the Tour de Pologne (August 9-15) later this month.
"I am a mountain biker and this is my first professional year on the road. I consider myself a climber who packs a punch. I also like time trialing," he said.
"I will be able to rely on very experienced riders and staff. It will allow me to improve very quickly. I can't wait to wear my new colors."
For Lavenu, the move made perfect sense - both in terms of short and long-term strategies - and he highlighted Berthet’s versatile nature and skillset.
"We worked closely with the rider, his agent, and his team to make this transfer in the middle of the season. Clément Berthet is a very versatile, young, and talented climber-rouleur. He doesn't have a long history on the road but has already shown great things," the team manager added.
"He's a big talent to work with, and we're happy to welcome him."
Berthet is the third rider to recently join the team after they announced that Paul Lapeira and Valentin Paret Peintre would join from the U23 ranks at the start of 2022.
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