June 24, 2012 – The AG2R-La Mondiale team will field virtually an-all French team for the Tour de France, but there will be no place for experienced Italian rider Rinaldo Nocentini who led the race in 2009.
“We have never had so many French riders,” said team manager Vincent Lavenu. “There will be eight and a half,” he added, in reference to Ireland’s Nicolas Roche, who is half French.
Nocentini was left out of the nine-man squad despite having held the yellow jersey for eight stages in the 2009 Tour.
“It’s hard for Nocentini to stay focused in a race for three weeks,” he said about his Italian rider, who will go to the Tour of Poland in July.
The 2012 Tour de France gets underway in the Belgian city of Liege on June 30 and finishes three weeks later in Paris on July 22.
AG2R team for the Tour de France: Maxime Bouet (FRA), Mickael Cherel (FRA), Hubert Dupont (FRA), Blel Kadri (FRA), Sbastien Minard (FRA), Lloyd Mondory (FRA), Jean-Christophe Praud (FRA), Christophe Riblon (FRA), Nicolas Roche (IRL)