Ag2r La Mondiale, the only team to have competed at every edition of the Santos Tour Down Under, will bring a strong team to compete in the 2010 race in Adelaide.
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, said that he is looking forward to the return of 2007 Tour Down Under champion Martin Elmiger.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Elmiger started out strong in January finishing fourth overall at the 2009 Santos Tour Down Under,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mike Turtur.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This set the scene for a solid effort all season, with Elmiger claiming a third place finish in the Monte Paschi Eroica and finishing twelfth in the Milan Ã¢â‚¬â€œ San Remo.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ag2r La Mondiale has produced the most overall winners of the Santos Tour Down Under in the eventÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s history Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Gilles Maignan (2000), Mikel Astarloza (2003), Simon Gerrans (2006) and Martin Elmiger (2007).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ag2r-La Mondiale will be a very competitive side at the 2010 event, fielding a team led by very experienced riders with key victories on the world stage in Elmiger and Dessel,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mike Turtur.
Cyril Dessel is a Tour de France stage winner, taking victory on the 16th stage in 2008 after being in a chase group for the majority of the day.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dessel is in the elite group of cyclists who can say they have worn the race leaderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s yellow jersey at the Tour de France, which he achieved back in 2006.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ag2r-La MondialeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s roster for the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager Laurent Biondi (FRA) and include riders:
- Martin Elmiger (SUI)
- Cyril Dessel (FRA)
- Blel Kadri (FRA)
- Yuriy Krivtsov (UKR)
- Rene Mandri (EST)
- Anthony Ravard (FRA)
- Ludovic Turpin (FRA)
More rider and team announcements will be issued over the coming weeks. The 2010 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 17-24 January 2010. For more information, visit www.tourdownunder.com.au.