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by Shane Stokes
August 3, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Van Poppel wins stage five of the Tour of Poland, Sagan keeps yellow; Trentin takes stage two of the Vuelta a Burgos; Perrone and Matthiessen take junior and U23 European time trial titles; Tour de France King of the Mountains Barguil and Moinard join Fortuneo-Oscaro squad; Gallopin and Ag2r La Mondiale commit for two years; Alaphilippe extends contract with QuickStep Floors team; UAE Team Emirates announces pending two-year deal with Alexander Kristoff; Shimano sneaks in new 105 front derailleur featuring trickle-down tech; Transcontinental update: Lenhard’s lead slims as race favourite stalks; Armstrong’s ‘Stages’ podcast to cover the Colorado Classic and Velorama MusicFestival; Video: CrossFit Games Cyclocross Course; Video: The inside story of Team Dimension Data’s Tour de France
Past Clasica San Sebastian victor and Tour de France stage winner Tony Gallopin has inked a two-year deal with the Ag2r la Mondiale team, with the Frenchman set to head there after four years with Lotto-Soudal. He will line out alongside Tour de France podium finisher Romain Bardet who, along with Oliver Naesen, has extended until 2020.
“I am leaving Lotto Soudal, having spent four years there,” he said. “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. The vision of the sporting project is what seduced me and won me over.”
Team manager Vincent Lavenu said that Gallopin will slot in perfectly. “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. 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.”
Gallopin said that helping Naesen in the Classics is a role he embraces, and that he will have his own opportunities in week-long stage races such as 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. 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.”