French outfit Ag2r La Mondiale Wednesday confirmed a return to the Tour Down Under with a strong team, led by explosive climber Maxime Bouet, aiming for stage wins. Ag2r is the only team to have competed every year since the race began, and they are bringing a seven-man roster led by Bouet for the January event, with compatriots Maxime Daniel and Sebastien Turgot focused on pushing to the front in sprint finishes. Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said Ag2r was popular with fans and consistently delivered strong results.
“Maxime Bouet is an all-rounder and he’s particularly good on rolling terrain with short, sharp climbs,” Turtur said. “The varied terrain across the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under route will appeal to Bouet and the Ag2r lineup and I’m sure we’ll see dynamic performances from this experienced group of riders.”
The season-opening race, in Adelaide from January 19-26, was won this year by Dutchman Tom-Jelte Slagter from Blanco Pro Cycling.