The 29-year-old Frenchman, whose versatile skill set makes him a contender on a wide variety of terrains, recently finished as runner-up at the Clasica San Sebastian for the second year in a row, having won the race in 2013. He won a stage at the 2014 Tour de France and has delivered top 10 results in races as diverse as the weeklong Paris-Nice – where he has finished among the top 10 overall for four years running and also nabbed a stage – and spring Classic Milan-San Remo, where he was ninth in a bunch sprint in 2015.
"I am leaving Lotto Soudal having spent four years there. I was able to live through some very beautiful emotions, and I can only thank the team for this experience. I am delighted to be joining AG2R La Mondiale. We saw again recently at the Tour de France that this is a team that is among the best in the world," Gallopin said via an AG2R press release.
"The vision of the sporting project is what seduced me and won me over. I will have a varied role. On the one hand, I will be playing a big part in the spring Classics and hopefully helping Oliver Naesen to land a Monument. I know that I will also have my own chance when racing the weeklong events like the Paris-Nice. I have been able to prove also that some of the one-day races suit me, and I hope to earn some great victories while wearing the AG2R La Mondiale jersey. And then another part of my job will be to support Romain Bardet at the Tour de France. I am very motivated by this new challenge."
AG2R manager Vincent Lavenu affirmed the plan to find a balance between offering Gallopin his own opportunities while also relying on his talents as a support rider in both one-day Classics and stage races.
"As a racer, Tony cuts the sort of figure we were looking for. He is experienced, a talented puncheur, very smart and can climb with the best deep into the mountains. He showed once again in the most recent Tour de France that he is a warrior who has a real intelligence when racing," Lavenu said. "His role will be to help Oliver Naesen early in the season and then Romain Bardet at the Tour de France. Of course, he will have his own freedom at the races that suit his strengths. We know that he is a rider capable of winning great things."