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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Ag2r-La Mondiale Extends its Sponsorship

From Ag2r-La Mondiale I received this press release regarding prolonging the French team's sponsorship through 2018:

AG2R La Mondiale, a happy sponsor

Sponsor of the Ag2r-La Mondiale team for 17 years, Ag2r decided to extend its partnership with French cycling, led by Vincent Lavenu, until 2018

"We are pleased to announce our continued partnership with Vincent Lavenu and his cycling team. After this great season and this outstanding Tour de France in 2014 that we presented our riders, this choice seemed obvious," says André Renaudin, Director General.

"The 2014 cycling season will, in many ways, be in the annals of AG2R La Mondiale. We are particularly proud of the conduct of our riders throughout the season and their incredible performance at the Tour de France: Jean-Christophe Péraud in 2nd place overall, Romain Bardet ranked 6th, the Blel Kadri's stage victory on July 12 and to perfect everything, AG2R La Mondiale was crowned best team in the Tour as it had been during the last Giro," said Yvon Breton, Chief Operating Officer.

The reaction of Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the cycling team AG2R La Mondiale: "As general manager of the team, it is with pride and honor that I can tell all of my riders and my staff renewal of our partnership with AG2R La Mondiale until late 2018, thanks to the strong commitment on our side. We are fortunate to have a loyal partner and we have the heart to defend its values​​. The excellent results achieved by our team this season, including the Tour de France, is a just reward for this flawless loyalty. This good news will help us face the future with confidence and build a strong team for future years. "

Ag2r-La Mondiale is a French insurance and retirement fund group and La Mondiale is a company that handles supplementary pension and estate planning insurance.

Jean-Christophe Peraud

Jean-Christophe Peraud at the start of this year's Tour de France. Photo ©Sirotti.

Giant-Shimano finds Co-Sponsor

Next year Giant-Shimano will be Giant-Alpecin. The team of John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel will be co-sponsored by the German Alpecin company, which produces shampoo with caffeine (said to energize one's hair...), among other things. Shimano will remain as a technical sponsor to the team.

Marcel Kittel

Giant-Shimano rider Marcel Kittel will have a new sponsor next year. Photo ©Sirotti

Specialized-Lululemon's Excellent World Championships

This press release came from the dominant women's team:

Two days after being part of the winning Team Time Trial Team and the World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, Specialized-Lululemon's Lisa Brennauer took the win in the individual time trial event earning the rainbow stripes jersey and another world title. Teammates Evelyn Stevens, Karol Ann Canuel and Trixi Worrack all placed in the top ten. "It will take a while to sink in," she Brennauer. "I thought I could have a good race and make the podium if I had a really good day but a world title is something special and it will take me a while to really realize it."

The race was tight between the top six riders right up until the final five kilometers, which included the final climb, and descent. "The last four kilometers were super important," explained Brennauer. "I knew I had to make sure I wasn't cooked going into the climb and then the last four kilometers had to be full gas."

Brennauer finished in a time of 38'48", eighteen seconds ahead of second place Anna Solovey from the Ukraine and 21 seconds ahead of teammate Evie Stevens.

"I'm super happy with this victory," said sport director Ronny Lauke. "Lisa has worked hard for this and it will be great to have the world champion in the team next year. We're also really proud of Evie, Karol Ann, Trixi and Chantal who all put in great performances."

The team will line up with their national teams on Saturday for the World Championship road race, their last race for the season.

Lisa Brennauer

Lisa Brennauer with her new rainbow jersey. Photo ©Sirotti

Nicolas Roche on the Elite Mens Individual Time Trial

Roche had this to day about Wednesday's race against the clock, “I think it’s a very nice course. The first part is very fast and the true powerhouses will benefit from this part. However, the second part is a bit more complicated with a relatively long climb with 15 kilometers to go. It’s going to be intense. I’ll try to go fast on the flat section and keep the pressure on the slope. I’m actually not sure what to expect regarding results. I can only tell that I’m motivated and I’ve been working hard for this”

Roche will launch his time trial at 14:36. The last rider on the course is the defending champion, Tony Martin (Germany) who will start one hour later exactly.

Nicolas Roche

Nicolas Roche wins stage 2 of the 2013 Vuelta a España. Photo ©Sirotti

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