Gautier to AG2R-La Mondiale for three years

Cyril Gautier is the first Europcar rider to find a new team. The Frenchman will ride for AG2R-La Mondiale for the next three years, his new team announced Saturday afternoon.

Gautier, 27, turned pro in 2009 with Bbox-Bouygues Telecom, which eventually became Europcar. In 2012 he won the best young rider jersey at the Criterium International and in 2013 won the Tour du Finestre. He has ridden the Tour de France every year since 2010.

A puncheur, he is expected to ride in support of Romain Bardet for his new French team.

AG2R tweeted, “Bienvenue à Cyril Gautier pour les trois prochaines saisons ! ‪#BienvenueCyril ‪#ALLEZALM" 

Europcar announced last fall that it would not renew its sponsorship, which expires at the end of this season. During the Tour de France, team manager Jean-Rene Bernadeau had asked his riders to give him time to find a new sponsor, and has held numerous discussions with potential sponsors.

Most of the riders had expressed a desire to stay with the team it it were possible, but the lack of progress has been noticeable and it can be expected that other Europcar riders will soon be announcing new teams. One such rider could be Bryan Coquard, who gave Bernaudeau a week to find a new sponsor some 10 days ago. Pierre Rolland has also been linked with a potential move to Cannondale-Garmin.

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