Laurent Biondi, sports manager for the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, presents the eight riders from the team who will be at the start of the Giro d’Italia 2022.
29 years old / 12 professional victories
« Lilian is an experienced rider who will be able to bring his race craft to the group and in particular help out Félix. He will be an important element in our team plan, and especially in our quest for a stage victory. He will aim for the hilly stages that suit his qualities. »
36 years old
Best result: 10th on a stage (2011)
« Mikaël is taking part in his sixteenth Grand Tour. His experience and qualities in the mountains will be essential alongside Félix. He will be able to help and advise the team, but also play his card on certain stages to snag his first professional victory. »
24 years old
« Félix has been the happy surprise for the start to the season for the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. He has shown that he had great potential in stage races thanks to his good recovery qualities. He will be our sole leader for the general classification. However, this is his first Grand Tour and therefore his first experience of managing a three-week race. He will aim for a top 15 in the general classification and depending on the opportunities, a stage victory. »
25 years old
« Jaakko has had a rocky start to the season with health issues and crashes. We hope to see him regain confidence throughout this Giro and the physical qualities allowing him to be an animator at the front on certain stages. He will also be an important element in helping to protect Félix. »
29 years old
Best result: 8th on a stage (2021)
« Lawrence replaces Clément Berthet, who crashed and broke his collarbone in the Tour of the Alps. Even if he did not have the ideal preparation for a Grand Tour, he will have a key role in protecting Félix on the flat and tricky stages, and he will be able to play his card on certain sprint stages. »
28 years old / 2 professional victories
Best result: stage victory (2019)
« Nans has had a good preparation including an altitude training camp at Etna. The Giro d’Italia is his big goal for the start of the season. He will be a valuable rider around Félix but also to go for a stage victory as he did in 2019. »
25 years old
« Nicolas is a young rider. He will ride the Giro d’Italia for the first time after having done the Vuelta a Espana in 2021 where he took a nice top-10 on one of the stages. His climbing qualities will be useful in accompanying Félix but he will also be able to slip into the breakaway on difficult stages. »
27 years old / 4 professional victories
Best result: stage victory (2021)
« Andrea is the rider on the team who knows the Giro d’Italia best. His knowledge of the roads will be an asset for the whole team. He has qualities as a puncher that can allow him to take victories in sprints from small groups and the strength to win from a breakaway like his victory last year. »
Two riders from the AG2R CITROËN TEAM at the start have already won a stage victory in the Giro d'Italia. Nans Peters won the seventeenth stage in 2019 and Andrea Vendrame won the twelfth stage in 2021.
Lilian Calmejane, who is taking part in the Giro d'Italia for the first time, can enter the exclusive group of riders who have won stages at all three Grand Tours. He won stage four of the Vuelta a Espana in 2016 and took the victory in stage eight of the Tour de France in 2017.
Sixteenth Grand Tour for Mikaël Chérel
On Friday, May 6th, in Budapest (Hungary), Mikaël Chérel will start his sixteenth Grand Tour. He has participated six times in the Tour de France, six times in the Vuelta a Espana, and this will be his fourth participation in the Giro d'Italia.
Félix Gall is taking part in his first Grand Tour.