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2018 Survey Results

Hi everyone, here we are with some results! The survey was left open for ten days in order to garner a good number of responses, and it's up on spring but we're still far from the peak observed during Summer'15. Seems like there's a mass post-Tour exodus for some reason.
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 2018
Results 2013-06-12 2014-06-25 2015-08-07 2016-11-17 2018-03-06 2018-08-20
Replies 351 598 1395 892 630 928

Top 15 Countries

Country 2015 2016 2018 March 2018 August
USA 32% 28.3% 22.84% 25.32%
UK 18.6% 17.6% 14.70% 20.13%
Netherlands 6.4% 9.4% 11.50% 11.58%
Germany 3.73% 3.4% 4.95% 6.39%
Canada 4.9% 7% 6.39% 4.22%
Australia 5.2% 4.7% 3.83% 4.00%
Denmark 3.9% 3.6% 4.31% 3.79%
Belgium 3.8% 2.7% 8.15% 3.57%
France 2.01% 1.08% 2.88% 2.27%
Norway 2.58% 1.8% 1.60% 1.95%
Portugal 1.65% 1.8% 2.40% 1.52%
Sweden 1.08% 1.09% 1.44% 1.41%
Slovenia 0.73% 0.32% 1.30%
Ireland 1.00% 1.09% 1.44% 1.19%
New Zealand 1.30% 0.96% 1.19%
No surprise to see that the USA is on top as ever, UK second and Netherlands third, but it's the way that the numbers have moved since spring in particular which grants an interesting insight into what the Tour does. It has a particularly dramatic effect on the number of Belgians, who see their share plummet once the classics are over whilst the anglosphere goes full speed ahead into yellow jersey fever.
Elsewhere, German TV covering the Tour again has a positive effect on sub numbers, whilst a couple of extra nations creep into the top 15, most notably Slovenia.

What's your age?

u17 17-19 20-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51+ Total
2015 2.22% 12.04% 41.51% 24.66% 10.68% 4.87% 2.94% 1.08% 1395
2016 1.5% 8.9% 40.8% 24% 12% 5.4% 5.2% 2% 887
2018 Mar 1% 7.1% 33.5% 27.4% 16.2% 7% 5.7% 2.1% 617
2018 Aug 1.7% 9% 33.9% 26.4% 15.5% 7% 5% 1.5% 905
No great changes in the age ranges since spring, with possibly a shade more young people watching than before. Otherwise it follows that the average user is in their 20s, as you'd guess for Reddit as a whole.

What's your Gender?

'13 '14 '15 '16 '18 (1) '18 (2)
Male 97.2% 97% 94.9% 93.4% 93.3% 93.6%
Female 2.8% 2.7% 4.8% 5.3% 5.3% 5.4%
Other - 0.33% 0.29% 0.78% 0.76% -
Non-Binary - - - - 0.64% 0.99%
Sticking with the theme of usual reddit demographics, it's an overwhelmingly male presence, with just 49 female respondents in all.

How much of the season do you watch/follow?

Type March '18 (%) August '18 (%)
Grand Tours 84.7 92.0
Monuments 79.1 74.9
WT Stage races 67.4 62.4
WT One day races 73.3 59.8
Non WT Stage races 32.6 16.7
Non WT One day races 34.8 13.7
Literally everything I can consume 35.9 18.1
So far, aside from a little change in which nationalities tune in, there hasn't been too much of a change. Here though it's plain to see the difference in fan base between spring and summer on the sub. Grand Tour watching increases (as you might expect), monuments & WT stage races lose a little ground, but everything else takes a nosedive.
It's fair to say Le Samyn is not for everyone, but that's quite the drop.

How long have you been watching Cycling?

Time (years) under a year 1 -2 2 - 3 3 - 4 4 - 5 5 - 6 6-7 7 -8 8 - 9 9 - 10 10 - 11 11 - 12 12 -13 13 - 14 14 - 15 15 - 20 20 - 25 25 +
March (%) 4 10.5 12.6 9.6 8.1 8.9 - 6.9 4.8 - 6.2 2.2 1.8 0.8 4.5 10.7 4.9 3.5
August (%) 4 10 13.2 9.9 7.7 8.3 5 4.6 2.7 5.4 3.2 2.2 1.8 1.9 1.8 9.5 5 3.8
Simply put, most of us have been watching cycling for less than six years, and just over a quarter have picked it up inside the last three, or since mid-2015.
Time (years) 0-5 5-11 11-15 15 & more
MAR 44.8% 26.8% 9.3% 19.1%
AUG 44.8% 29.2% 7.7% 18.3%
This makes looking at the data a wee bit simpler.

Section 2

Which teams do you like or not like?

This one is sorted by karma, which is simply the number of likes minus the number of dislikes. The 2015 answers come first and are highlighted with 2015, then the 2016 answers with 2016 and then the answers from this survey are highlight with 2018. Hopefully this will give a feel of the changing image of some of the teams in the peloton.
First off, a full 12% of respondents are apathetic about teams, with no like/dislike feelings on the matter. For those that do have them:
Team Karma2015 Karma2016 KarmaMar'18 LikeAug'18 MehAug'18 DislikeAug'18 KarmaAug'18
AG2R La Mondiale 7 124 303 342 424 23 319
Astana Pro Team -389 -343 -115 149 217 212 -63
Bahrain-Merida -185 -125 107 471 206 -99
BMC Racing Team 66 206 244 309 427 49 260
Bora Hansgrohe 177 369 518 267 12 506
Team Dimension Data 351 250 230 473 74 156
FDJ-Groupama -7 72 152 130 554 85 45
Lotto-Soudal 24 151 287 231 510 31 200
Movistar 42 123 125 195 465 121 74
Michelton-Scott 208 556 279 468 301 34 434
Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale (nee-Cannondale-Garmin) 54 131 237 299 424 54 245
Team Sunweb (nee-Giant-Alpecin) 29 148 317 489 292 24 465
Team Katusha -13 -101 -4 67 511 194 -127
Team LottoNL-Jumbo 45 183 224 454 323 17 437
Team Sky -3 51 -155 292 236 315 -23
Quick-Step Floors (nee-Etixx-Quick) Step 87 328 347 548 238 33 515
Trek-Segafredo (nee-Trek Factory Racing) 4 175 219 216 527 31 185
UAE-Team Emirates (nee-Lampre-Merida) -20 -28 -125 76 491 218 -142
If reams of numbers scare you (and they should), then instead here's a handy little chart instead.
What conclusions can we draw from this then? Firstly it seems that GT season brings out familiar discontent with teams like UAE & Bahrain, whilst Katusha suffer from being both previously evil and utterly useless. Astana continue on the path towards redemption with the dark winter of 2014 slipping ever further out of memory, whilst Sky sits more or less level as they mostly were prior to spring.
Chief among the favourites though is Quick-Step, outshining PeterBora-hansgrohe, whilst Sunweb & LottoNL are reaching previously unthinkable heights of love with the sub.
Fair to say that no one cares too much about FDJ though.

Do you ride a bike regularly?

Answer 2018Mar 2018Aug
For fun 61.5% 63.4%
For fitness 59.3% 59.6%
For commuting 46% 46%
For racing 20.6% 20.6%
No, I don't 14.2% 12.9%
Similar stats to March as you'd guess.

Is Cycling your favourite sport?

2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug
No 40,7% 34,7% 30.6% 39.7%
Yes 59,3% 65,3% 69.4% 60.3%
A palpable difference between spring & summer, with the numbers most similar to the 2015 survey, also held around Tour time.

What other sports do you follow?

Sport # % (/920)
I don't follow other sports 84 9.13%
Association Football / Soccer 477 51.85%
Formula 1 267 29.02%
American Football 208 22.61%
Basketball 181 19.67%
Esports (yes, this includes DotA) 146 15.87%
Rugby 139 15.11%
Track & Field 125 13.59%
Ice Hockey 119 12.93%
Skiing 112 12.17%
Motorsports (Not including F1) 102 11.09%
Tennis 98 10.65%
Cricket 96 10.43%
Baseball 88 9.57%
Swimming 65 7.07%
Speed Skating 64 6.96%
Triathlon 64 6.96%
Biathlon 62 6.74%
Snooker 58 6.30%
Golf 54 5.87%
Climbing 40 4.35%
Chess 39 4.24%
Martial Arts 38 4.13%
Boxing 35 3.80%
Handball 31 3.37%
Aussie Football 28 3.04%
Volleyball 25 2.72%
Field Hockey 24 2.61%
Rowing 24 2.61%
Wrestling 23 2.50%
Weightlifting 19 2.07%
Figure Skating 11 1.20%
Gymnastics 10 1.09%
Darts 9 0.98%
Badminton 6 0.65%
GAA 6 0.65%
Futsal 6 0.65%
Lacrosse 4 0.43%
Sailing 3 0.33%
Sumo 2 0.22%
Surfing 2 0.22%
Curling 2 0.22%
Trail Running 2 0.22%
Equestrian 1 0.11%
Fencing 1 0.11%
Diving 1 0.11%
Did anyone tell you Esports was on the rise? Because it's leaping up the table every year, especially when it includes DotA. Otherwise, Soccer is king, and Formula 1 at last freed from the cruel tyranny of the Motorsports category shoots up to second, with American Football third.
Oh, and that guy who has voted sailing four times, you're in!
Other cycling disciplines
Type Votes
Cyclocross 167
Track Cycling 148
MTB 79
BMX 10
As for other cycling disciplines, /Cyclocross leads /Velodrome as usual.

Section 3

How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race? 2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug
I always participate in Race Threads during races 2,8% 2% 2.2% 4%
I follow Race Threads during races 41,7% 36,7% 38.1% 42.1%
I often participate in Race Threads during races 16,8% 19% 16.5% 18.9%
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races 38,7% 41,25% 43.1% 35%
Summer brings more invested users than normal, reversing the trend of less people participating in race threads.

How do you watch races?

Method 2018Mar 2018Aug
Pirate Streams 62% 46.5%
Local TV 55.7% 64.5%
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights 37.9% 30.2%
Paid Streaming services 32.3% 35.4%
The ASO is unfortunately notorious for demanding that streams are legal and just, which sees summer piracy down on average, whilst local TV is up, as is the demand for paid streaming services, be it Eurosport, NBC, Flobikes & more.

Where do you follow races (in addition to watching them)?

Type 2018Mar 2018Aug
/Peloton race threads 86.2% 83.4%
Twitter 30.5% 34.7%
The Cyclingnews liveticker 26% 23.5%
Steephill 0.52% 13.5%
Sporza (site/ticker) 1.89% 9.5%
Other cycling forums 15.1% 8.1%
NOS Liveblog - 6.8%
/Peloton discord 6.5% 5.4%
Facebook 3.8% 5.4%
BBC Ticker - 3.5%
feltet.dk - 2.2%
/cyc/ - 1.3%
Non Cycling Forums - 1.3%
DirectVelo - 1.3%
/peloton IRC ~0 0.8%
Twitter as ever remains an excellent place to get news and up to date live events on almost any race, along with various livetickers.
Worth noting the option list wasn't quite as long last time, which may have affected the outcome a tad.

Do you use /Peloton mostly in classic reddit or redesign when on the desktop?

Type Percent
Classic 75.1%
Redesign 24.9%
Most of you remain true to the old reddit. Via the powers of enhanced traffic stats it's also possible to gauge where sub traffic came from in general. Here's a sneak peak at them.. Tour de July indeed.
Third party apps don't appear because reasons.

When does the season end?

Event %
Giro d'Lombardia 43.4
Men's WC RR 37.1
La Vuelta a Espana 10.4
Tour of Guangxi 3.4
Tour of Hainan 1.6
Now the technical answer to this is as follows:
As a general rule, the international calendar shall start on the day following the conclusion of the previous year’s final UCI World Championships event or WorldTour event and end upon conclusion of the final UCI WorldTour or World Championships event of the year in question.
Which means the technically correct answer is the final stage of the Tour of Guangxi. However, we did establish in spring that the season really begins at Omloop, not down under, and now by an admittedly small margin we've established the season really ends at the final monument of the year.
There were shouts that it doesn't really end. it just gets a bit muddier, or that Paris-Tours is the real end of all things. One person also seems to think that the year ends at the Tour of Britain, which is a slight injustice to the Vuelta.

Rank the Monuments

Event Average Position Rank
MSR 3.32 4th
RvV 2.5 2nd
PR 1.28 1st
LBL 3.25 3rd
Lombardia 4.01 5th
The definitive answer in case anyone brings it up again, it's clear to see that Paris-Roubaix is the No.1 monument for /peloton, with de Ronde a clear second, MSR & LBL tied for third and Lombardy languishing at the end of the season in a distant fifth.

Rank these Titles by Prestige

Winner of: Average Position Rank
Giro 2.48 2nd
Tour 1.17 1st
Vuelta 3.59 4th
WC RR 2.96 3rd
Olympic RR 4.19 5th
Just to get an idea of how clear the lead for the Tour is, a full 89% of participants rated it as No.1. Yellow is the colour of choice. Next up is the Giro in a solid second, whilst the WC RR sits third. The Vuelta is as much an afterthought in this ranking as it is in the season in fourth, whilst the Olympics really doesn't get the level of recognition it possesses in Athletics for example, sitting in dead last.
And that is that! Thank you as ever for participating in our survey, which we'll probably stick to making biannual. We've read the feedback you left at the bottom, and here's a overview of the suggestions for the sub you guys made.
The subject that received the most references (over 20% of suggestions) was the spoiler rule, including love and hate for the current scenario. Both sides present good arguments. For now, the mod-team wants to make it clear that we are not considering to make changes in the near future. However, we will likely raise the discussion again once the season is over.
We had comments asking us to take a harder stance against anti-Sky posts. We allow every opinion, about any team, as long as you respect reddit and /peloton rules. Once that line is crossed, we take action. And, as seen in the section 2 above, the community feeling about Team Sky is currently close to neutral.
Some suggestions asked for more memes and fun - we have our friends @ pelotonmemes to give an answer to your needs!
One of the suggestions was "Promote idea that disagreeable comments do not necessarily deserve downvotes. Upvote comments that promote discussion" which is something we all agree with. Lately we have seen comments that are downvoted despite contributing to discussion, and we condemn that. Don't forget that the downvote button is not a disagree button.
People asked us if we could bring Cyclocross and Track onto the sub. For now, we prefer to keep /peloton focused only in professional road racing. /cyclocross and /velodrome will continue to be the home for the content about Cyclocross and Track.
There was also a suggestion about allowing more non-English content on the sub. You could always bring articles and content written in your own language, whenever it is relevant for the subreddit. And if you bring a translation of the relevant bits, even better!
Finally, we also received feedback about small questions. A while ago we created monday question threads, in response to older feedback, in order to diminish the amount of quick self posts - and recently turned them into 'weekly question threads'. However, some may argue - especially when a mod removes/redirects a thread - that this limits the amount of content in the sub - resulting in days where pelotonmod posts the majority of the threads, which is not an ideal scenario. For now, we will continue to ask you to post very quick questions in a question thread - if there is one sticky - and if the question is about a race underway, a sticky race or results thread may be your best bet - but if you bring a longer post raising a question that respects the other /peloton rules, that continues to be allowed as a separate thread.
submitted by PelotonMod to peloton [link] [comments]

Team Presentation #12 AG2R La Mondiale (ALM)

AG2R

It's hard to believe that this team had to recruit an Iranian, Boris Shpilevsky and Gregor Gazvoda back in 2012, just to stay in the WT! Funnily enough, it was also the year when the current star of AG2R, Romain Bardet, joined the team from the ranks of the reserve team. The team is one of the oldest in the pro peloton (It started back in 1992, so that makes it 25 years old!), and has helped a lot of famous riders start their career like Vinokourov (Maybe without AG2R we wouldn't have the lovely Astana team in the pro peloton!), Kirsipuu, Astarloza, Gadret, Kangert and Gerrans.
For the past 10 years, AG2R has largely been considered a GC/breakaway team rather than one for the sprinters or classic riders - showing results like Cyril Dessel's 6th place in his first Tour post-Armstrong, along with Moreau's 8th spot. The team had a rather underwhelming decade in the 2000's, only brightened up by exploits like Nocentini's 2009 Tour.
The team hit an all time low point in 2012, rather paradoxically considering the results were pretty good just before that -The team had for the first time riders in all the top 10 of three consecutive Grand Tours, even including one podium in the Giro by John Gadret (after the suspension of Contador). 2012 seems to have been a wake-up call for Vincent Lavenu, as he is reported to have said himself.
2013 saw the first big changes in AG2R, Roche, one of the faces of the team at the time, was let go to Saxo-Tinkoff while the Team recruited riders that don't represent a lot of investment in terms of money but still offering a lot of potential - Pozzovivo was perhaps one of the most unluckiest and irregular rider in the Giro before joining AG2R, Betancur who had a good year before in a folding Aqua & Sapone, whom were screwed by the non-invitation for the Giro, as well as Hutarovich and (Samuel) Dumoulin who both were good riders for the french scene. This is the starting point of the current AG2R lineup, who has continued to do well, signing future star riders like Vuillermoz, Gougeard, Bakelants, Latour as well as a couple of duds (especially in terms of classics riders), although most people thought the Turgot-Gaudin duo or Vansummeren would do well.

Results 2016:

Month Name Type Best Rider Other Riders
Jan Tour Down Under 1W Stage Race Pozzovivo7 Gautier38, Montaguti43
Mar Paris - Nice 1W Stage Race Bardet9 Chérel27, Gautier39
Mar Tirreno-Adriatico 1W Stage Race Bakelants21 Bakelants16, Pozzovivo32
Mar Milano-Sanremo Classic Monument Montaguti13 Bakelants44, Riblon87
Mar Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 1W Stage Race Bardet6 Pozzovivo17, Dupont32
Mar E3 Harelbeke Cobbled Classic Gaudin26 Turgot60, DNF
Mar Gent - Wevelgem Sprinters Classic Bagdonas65 Turgot69, DNF
Apr Ronde van Vlaanderen Cobbled Classic - Monument Gaudin31 Sergent57, Minard78
Apr Vuelta al Pais Vasco 1W Stage Race Latour14 Bakelants22, Chérel51
Apr Paris - Roubaix Cobbled Classic - Monument Daniel28 Gaudin34, Sergent53
Apr Amstel Gold Race Hilly Classic Bakelants13 Gautier50, Montaguti73
Apr La Flèche Wallonne Hilly Classic Latour19 Bakelants22, Chérel51
Apr Liège - Bastogne - Liège Hilly Classic - Monument Bardet6 Pozzovivo9, Cherel52
ApMay Tour de Romandie 1W Stage Race Latour12 Bardet27, Chérel33
May Giro d'Italia 3W Stage Race Dupont11 Montaguti19, Pozzovivo20
Jun Critérium du Dauphiné 1W Stage Race Bardet2 Bakelants17, Chérel23
Jun Tour de Suisse 1W Stage Race Dupont23 Peraud56, Riblon76
Jul Tour de France 3W Stage Race Bardet2 Vuillermoz20, BPozzovivo33
Aug Tour de Pologne 1W Stage Race Denz28 Houle32, Minard57
Aug Clasica San Sebastian Hilly One-Day Gautier37 Peraud65, Latour71
Aug/Sep Vuelta a Espana 3W Stage Race Peraud13 Bakelants17, Latour28
Aug Cyclassics Hamburg Sprinters Classic Houle17 Gataurr65, Gougeard98
Aug Bretagne Classic - Ouest-France Classic Dumoulin17 Gastauer20, Chérel91
Sep Grand Prix de Québec Hilly One-day Bardet22 Houle26, Vuillermoz47
Sep Grand Prix de Montréal Hilly One-day Bardet20 Vuillermoz33, Chérel36
Aug Eneco Tour Flat Stage Race Bagdonas39 Gretsch55, Houle58
Oct Il Lombardia Hilly Classic - Monument Bardet4 Latour10, Bakelants21

Romain Bardet's results: Tour de France's GC

2016 2015 2014 2013
2 9 6 15

Classics

Race 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Milano-Sanremo - - - 17 -
Liège - Bastogne - Liège 13 6 10 13 -
Il Lombardia 4 17 11 - 29
Bretagne Classic-Ouest-France - - 85 25 29
Amstel Gold Race - - 33 48 25
La Flèche Wallonne - - 35 111 29
Clasica San Sebastian - 84 18 20 33
Grand Prix de Québec 22 35 24 107 56
Grand Prix de Montréal 20 7 5 16 22

Best riders last five years:

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
1st Nocentini (909) Betancur (968) Peraud (1293) Bardet (1092) Bardet (1641)
2nd Roche (638) S.Dumoulin (866) Bardet (1262) Pozzovivo (1019) S.Dumoulin (836)
3rd Mondory (432) Pozzovivo (859) Pozzovivo (902) Bakelants (979) Bakelants (603)
4th Manuel Belletti (367) Bardet (743) Hutarovich (606) Vuillermoz (665) Latour (583)
5th Peraud (333) Peraud (602) Betancur (550) Gougeard (431) Pozzovico (528)
= 6216 7669 8997 7690 6769
As you can see the team, even though it has consistent results overall, relied a lot on Bardet and a Dumoulin who had a rebirth this year after a couple of hard years. The fail of Pozzo in the Giro plus Peraud still strugling really didn't help, as is why the new recruits + the young guys that are Latour and Gougeard will be important next year, as the old Dumoulin and Pozzo won't still be around for long!

Riders Out:

Name Year Points2016 Best Season Role Goes to
Jean-Christophe Peraud 1977 238 20141293 GC3W / Climber-Rouleur Retires
Damien Gaudin 1986 102 2013299 Classic/Rouleur ?
Maxime Daniel 1991 63 2013111 Classic/Sprint FVC
Sebastian Minard 1982 61 2009261 RouleuDomestique ?
Patrick Gretsch 1987 52 2011173 RouleuTT ?
Sebastian Turgot 1984 32 2012486 Classic/Rouleur ?
Guilliaume Bonnafond 1987 31 2012156 Climber Cofidis
Jesse Sergent 1988 30 2011344 Classic/Rouleur Retires
Blel Kadri 1986 29 2011466 Climber ?
Johan Vansummeren 1981 1 2007409 Classic/Rouleur Retires
This is a year of changes at AG2R, almost the whole classic team leaving, including a former winner, a runner-up and a 5th placer of the Paris Roubaix, whom all three has been spectacularly unspectacular their entire AG2R run. Other outgoing riders, like Kadri, has been disappointing for years, but the same could also been said about Riblon, who still remains on the team, hanging on by the skin on his teeth. AG2R are finally letting go of their old heroes, but it's a good thing - the new team will be a lot more future-proofed.
The biggest loss is Peraud, even if we have to be honest enough to admit that his time was over. His palmares includes the incredible 2nd GC spot at the 2014 Tour, AG2R's best result ever. And to think that he only switched from MTB to road in 2010, at the tender age of 33. If he had made the switch a couple of year earlier, he would have had a superb chance at beating Cadel Evans and win the Tour for himself.

Roster:

Rider Year Pnts2016 Best Season Type Comes from
BAGDONAS Gediminas 1985 143 2012 (238) Classics
BAKELANTS Jan 1986 603 2015 (979) Classics / Puncheur
BARBIER RudyNEW 1992 375 2016 SprinterTalent Roubaix Lille Métropole
BARDET Romain 1990 1641 2016 GC3W / Climber
BÉRARD Julien 1987 26 2014 (115) Domestique
BIDARD François 1992 36 2016 Classic
CHEREL Mikael 1986 162 2014 (254) Mountain Domestique
CLEMENT ChevrierNEW 1992 35 2013 (53) Climber IAM
COSNEFROY BenoitNEW 1995 17 2016 Neopro Youth team
DENZ Nico 1994 61 2016 Classics
DOMONT Axel 1990 147 2016 Domestique
DUMOULIN Samuel 1980 836 2013 (866) Sprinter / Classics
DUPONT Hubert 1980 302 2011 (366) M.Domestique
DUVAL JulienNEW 1990 204 2016 Okay Sprinter Equipe Cycliste Armée de Terre
ENGER Sondre HolstNEW 1993 492 2016 SprinterTalent IAM
FRANK MathiasNEW 1986 332 2014 (727) GC1W IAM
GASTAUER Ben 1987 94 2014 (259) Domestique
GAUTIER Cyril 1987 172 2014 (657) Climber
GENIEZ AlexandreNEW 1988 340 2015 (472) GC1W / Climber FDJ
GOUGEARD Alexis 1993 98 2015 (431) Classic
HOULE Hugo 1990 137 2016 TT/Rouleur
JAUREGUI Quentin 1994 30 2012 (370) Sprinter
LATOUR Pierre 1993 583 2016 Future GC talent
MONTAGUTI Matteo 1984 239 2015 (286) Climber
NAESEN OliverNEW 1990 692 2016 Classics IAM
PETERS Nans 1994 47 2012 (164) GCTalent
POZZOVIVO Domenico 1982 528 2015 (1019) GC3W / Climber
RIBLON Christophe 1981 45 2010 (528) Climber
VANDENBERGH StijnNEW 1984 229 2014 (339) Rouleur / Classics EQS
VUILLERMOZ Alexis 1988 423 2015 (665) GC1W/Puncheur
Totals & Averages 28.6 6769 2014 (8897)
If you're following procycling transfers, you've probably noticed that this team became the salvation for most of the big-name riders from now defunct IAM, as well as Chevrier. Chevrier who? If you're neither french nor a follower of the american circuit, you're probably wondering who the hell this guy is right now. Chevrier was a member of the recruit team of AG2R, which is where most of the AG2R neopros in the past few years has been signed from (Bardet, Latour etc... not Gougeard though, he came from Pavilly Barentin), but he joined what was known as Bissel Development Team (also known as Trek-Livestrong, Bontrager or their current name, Axeon), in order to experience the american circuit. The team has a pretty good track record exporting riders to the WT, which probably also played a part, but riders who do well on the US scene (like Chevrier also did), tend to do pretty bad in Europe afterwards. They probably rescued him because they considered him "one of them", but time will show if he's got room to improve.
Cosnefroy seems to be a future puncheur, based on his previous results from lower-ranked races, but he's young, and he can still change and evolve as a rider. Duval is a sprinter, AG2R are probably testing the waters to see who can handle filling a gap Dumoulin will open up after his retirement, the same goes for Rudy Barbier.
The most interesting give signings are surely the trio from IAM(Frank, Naesen and Enger), Geniez from FDJ and Vandenbergh, whom is coming from QuickStep - he's actually rejoining the team, since he spent the 2008 season at AG2R after Unibet folded in 2007 due to rulings about betting companies and sponsorships.
Vandenbergh has spent most of his career working for others (Pozzato, Gusev, Hoste at Katusha, the whole cobble crew at QuickStep) and has now finally decided to earn shot for himself, but he's not the sole cobbled captain - He'll be sharing that role with Gougeard and fellow newcomer Olivier Naesen, who had an incredible autumn season, including a very memorable fall in the Tour TT, but also a WT win in Plouay as well as hardcore performances in the Canadian classics and the Eneco Tour. He just might be the guy to break the AG2R classic curse.
As for the climbing departement, there's two new lieutenants for Bardet in Frank and Geniez, which means that Bardet is now backed by a team that, on paper, is more impressive than SKY's climbing armada - 3 riders with GT top 10 placements, 4 riders with top 20's (two of them with 11nd places), as well as a Gastauer who has a 21nd from 2014 Tour, same year Peraud did 2nd and Bardet 6th in the GC. That was a pretty good tour for AG2R.
In terms of pure climbing, AG2R is one of the strongest teams in the peloton. Frank and Geniez will probably both be able to target another GT (probably the Giro for Geniez and Vuelta for Frank) to do whatever they want.
The final recruit is Sondre Holst Enger, the dancing Norwegian, who may be the biggest sprint talent AG2R had since Kirsipuu (and that says a lot!).
He will probably have a free role most of the time, and they're going to put him in all the big races (perhaps letting him rest for the Tour so that the full focus can be on Bardet), making him the main sprinter for the team. That's probably the best thing to happen in the whole world for a rider that's only 23 years old!
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