“Pierre worked well during the training camps, and we know his physical qualities,” said Lavenu of the 26-year-old Frenchman, who finished a modest 70th in the overall standings of the Dauphiné. “We hope that the Dauphiné will have helped him gain momentum for the Tour de France. He has shown in the past that he is capable of competing with the best, and if all goes well, he is certainly able to shine in the mountains and in time trials.
While Bardet will move to Sunweb for 2021 and Latour has a new home with Total Direct Energie, Lavenu has retained the services of 24-year-old versatile Benoît Cosnefroy and 29-year-old classics specialist Oliver Naesen for the next three. seasons. The two riders will also be part of the squad for this year’s Tour and both could have the opportunity to secure stage victories.
“Benoît is the puncher of the team, ”Lavenu said. He knows how to win. He just needs to get into a position where he will have the chance to raise his arms for the Tour victory. He has the level for it.
“We hope his back worries are behind him so he can be at the top of his game,” he added. “He’s matured, he’s clairvoyant and he’s capable of achieving great success in the Tour de France.
“Oliver acts as our comprehensive insurance on the flattest, fastest stages,” said Lavenu de Naesen. “He is a high quality athlete and very valuable to the team. It is very important when we position the leaders, especially when the wind is blowing strong.
“He can be a great leader as well as a great teammate, and he deserves to raise his arms for the win. This year, the Tour will also serve as a launching pad for the Flandrian Classics. ”
The team is completed by the winner of the 2015 Tour stage Alexis Vuillermoz, who should be able to help Bardet and Latour in the mountains, as well as the experienced Mikaël Cherel, while the stage winner of the Giro d ‘Italia 2019 Nans Peters and Clément Venturini will make their Tour debut. .
“We will start this Tour de France with ambition but humility and without pressure,” said Lavenu. “Romain Bardet, our leader, has proven that he is back among the best riders in the peloton. We are therefore approaching this event with serenity.
“We’re here to aim for the best possible finish. Nothing should be out of reach, ”he added. “We can also aim for stage victories with riders like Oliver Naesen, Alexis Vuillermoz and Benoît Cosnefroy. Clément Venturini and Nans Peters will take part in the event for the first time, but they too are capable of great things. ”
AG2R La Mondiale for the 2020 Tour de France: Romain Bardet, Mikaël Cherel, Benoît Cosnefroy, Pierre Latour, Oliver Naesen, Nans Peters, Clément Venturini, Alexis Vuillermoz