The Finances of Ag2r La Mondiale

Want to run a pro team? You need millions of Euros a year. Here’s a closer look at the team budget of Ag2r La Mondiale, the French team in the World Tour sponsored by one of France’s largest mutual insurance companies.

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The Finances of Ag2r La Mondiale

The team’s accounts are available and as well as the dry numbers here’s a closer look at a team that’s been quietly changing its ways in recent years with success to match.

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Ag2r La Mondiale’s Team Budget

It’s been a winning year for Ag2r La Mondiale with Jean-Christophe Péraud’s second place in the Tour de France but so much more including Carlos Betancur’s win in Paris-Nice plus the team prizes in the Giro and Tour de France and they might have won in the Vuelta had Domenico Pozzovivo, Carlos Betancur and Alexis Vuillermoz been present and in-shape. Nevermind the speculation, they’re third on the UCI’s team rankings today.

But how much does it all cost? Having looked at Team Sky’s accounts recently here’s a look at the numbers for a French team.

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Can A Frenchman Make The Podium In Paris?

With Vincenzo Nibali in command the race is on for the other riders to seize their chance. Can a Frenchman can finish on the podium in Paris? Yes because Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot are duelling for the white jersey, just 16 seconds separate them while Michał Kwiatkowski is 14 minutes behind. Barring a double disaster a Frenchman will stand on the podium on the Champs Elysées.

Enough smart answers, the real question is whether a Frenchman can finish in the top three overall? Bardet is third overall and Pinot fourth but there are three mountain stages and a long time trial to come.

It’s a result many in France want to see but there’s also wider support for this outcome. But could it be a big dream and a rude awakening awaits? On the rest day here’s a look at the GC contenders.

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Tuesday Shorts

De Panne – Criterium International > F1 – How to Pronounce Mezgec – Stannard – Ag2r – Buy your own SRM – New Blood Doping Test

The Three Days of De Panne start today. A final tune-up ahead of Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, this time last year Alexander Kristoff made a name for himself. It’s also a race infamous for crashes. It’s worth watching for the hectic sprints and to make notes on rider form but if ever a DS wanted to “punish” a rider then making them ride this race would be up there; alternatively it’s a crash course in learning to cope with Belgian racing with shoulder-rubbing, ditch-dodging and more.

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Who Sets The Rules: MPCC vs UCI?

Who runs cycling? Ag2r La Mondiale will sit out the Critérium du Dauphiné in accordance with the MPCC rules which state a team must stop racing for eight days following two positive anti-doping controls in the past 12 months. But the UCI rules say a team has to ride every race on the World Tour calendar and a substantial six-figure fine could be liable.

But there’s no need for an oppositional tone, the MPCC has proposed ideas which the UCI has readily adopted. Perhaps it’s time to do the same?

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Ag2r out of Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse?

Lampre-Merida too?

One year ago Ag2r’s Sylvain Georges stood on the podium in California, this morning he quit the Giro after an “Adverse Analytical Finding” for Heptaminol, a banned substance.

It’s curious to see the UCI announce the news after the A-sample only has been tested and, because it’s a “specified substance,” Georges could get any ban reduced.

But perhaps the most interesting thing is that under a new code the French team could be out of the Dauphiné and Tour of Switzerland, ruining its preparation for the Tour de France. And Lampre too?

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Blel Kadri, Roma Maxima Winner

Blel Kadri

Blel Kadri’s win on Sunday certainly Filippo Pozzato by surprise. The Italian triumphantly threw his arms up in the air only to discover that Kadri had crossed the line 37 seconds earlier. It wasn’t just Pozzato who was confused, sections of the Italian media and fans in general were wondering who he is. After the race his name was spelled incorrectly and even the well-informed Eurosport podcast seemed to call him “Gadri” in their latest episode.

But in fact he’s a rider who’s long due a big win and if there’s none of the star factor of Moreno Moser, there’s a very different family tale.

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