Lawrence Naesen to join brother Oliver at AG2R in 2020

Lawrence Naesen – brother of this year's Milan-San Remo runner-up Oliver Naesen – will make it a family affair at AG2R La Mondiale next season when he joins his older sibling at the French WorldTour team.

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec's Andrea Vendrame will also join AG2R La Mondiale from next year, as will Clément Champoussin, although not until midway through the 2020 season, when he'll step up from feeder team Chambéry Cyclisme Formation.

Lawrence Naesen arrives after two seasons at WorldTour level with Lotto Soudal. While he might not yet have the same palmarès as Oliver, Lawrence, at 26, has two years up his sleeve to try to match the older Naesen's four pro victories, which include the 2017 Belgian road race championship and two wins in the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France.

Like Oliver, Lawrence is most suited to the spring Classics and one-day races, and rode his first Monuments this season, although he failed to finish both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

"I'm really excited about joining AG2R La Mondiale," Naesen said. "I'm going to race wearing the same jersey as my brother, and that's really a dream come true, and it was actually my goal when I turned professional.

"During the last two seasons, I've been able to take part in the great races that are close to my heart, but I'm eager to continue my progression in racing the Flandrian Classics," he said.

AG2R team manager Vincent Lavenu added: "Lawrence has the experience and culture of the races in Flanders. He's close to his brother Oliver, who's two years older, and his arrival will strengthen our group for the cobbled races, where we'll try to win something big."

French success pays off for Italy's Vendrame

All-rounder Andrea Vendrame won this season's Tro-Bro Léon in April, as well as a stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe earlier the same month, and joins following three seasons with Pro Continental team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec.

"Joining a UCI WorldTour team has been one of my goals," the 25-year-old Italian said. "I'm very happy to wear the AG2R La Mondiale jersey – one of the most beautiful organisations in the peloton – for the next two seasons.

"I don't speak French yet, but I have an attachment to this country: I've won three times as a professional, and each time it was in France."

"Andrea is a strong puncheur, and can do very well on the climbs, as he was able to demonstrate at the Giro d'Italia this year when he took second place on a mountain stage," Lavenu said of Vendrame's second place to Mitchelton-Scott's Esteban Chaves on stage 19 from Treviso to San Martino di Castrozza. "But he's also able to win in the sprint. His profile is interesting and, at 25, he has a good margin for progress."

Twenty-one-year-old Clément Champoussin makes the step up from Chambéry Cyclisme Formation, becoming the 17th rider to have 'graduated' from the AG2R feeder team and join the WorldTour squad.

Champoussin comes from a mountain-bike background, having been French junior champion in the discipline in 2016. On the road, he finished fifth overall at the 2018 Tour de l'Avenir and was 12th in the under-23 road race at last year's World Championships. This season, he finished third overall at both La Course de la Paix and the Ronde de l'Isard.

"I joined the Chambéry Cyclisme Formation with the aim of turning professional, and now it's a reality. I'm really happy," said Champoussin.

"I'm very much aware that my results at the Tour de l'Avenir and the World Championships really put me on the map. Joining AG2R La Mondiale is the logical progression from the Chambéry Cyclisme Formation – especially since I already know some of the riders there, like Aurélien Paret-Peintre and Benoît Cosnefroy. I still have lots of things to learn, and, before August 1 [2020], I want to do well in my last months in the amateur ranks," he said.

"Clément has already accomplished some very beautiful things, especially in the mountains," added Lavenu.

"He still has things to learn, but he also has great potential. He will start the season with Chambéry Cyclisme Formation before joining us on August 1, 2020, and will remain until 2022."

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