Cycling - Peraud to lead Ag2R-La Mondiale at Paris-Nice

Jean-Christophe Peraud will lead Ag2R-La Mondiale at Paris-Nice.

Cycling - Peraud to lead Ag2R-La Mondiale at Paris-Nice

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Jean-Christophe Peraud (Imago)

The 35-year-old Frenchman took an impressive victory on stage four of the recent Tour Méditerranéen after a stunning final climb up Mont Faron.

The former mountain bike rider leads a team of eight, which includes young climber Romain Bardet and sprinters Samuel Dumoulin and Yauheni Hutarovich - the latter, a Belarusian, the only non-French rider - on the stage race held from March 3-10.

Their Italian riders Pozzovivo, Nocentini and Appollonio, and Colombian Betancur, will be taking part in the Tirreno -Adriatico from March 6-12.

General manager Vincent Lavenu is pleased with the team spirit on show so far in 2013.

"The assessment of this early season is encouraging in the sense that we feel a significant change from the last season in terms of collective spirit and aggressiveness at races," he said on the team's Facebook page.

"There is very good team cohesion and the riders really want to succeed.

"We simply need to focus on certain details to achieve victory, because we all know that victory is all that counts.

"We have already won two races, that’s fine, but we don’t have to stop there. I hope that in coming weeks - why not in Paris-Nice? - the team will win a stage in a World Tour race."

Squad: Romain Bardet, William Bonnafond, Maxime Bouet, Samuel Dumoulin, Hubert Dupont, Yauheni Hutarovich, Sebastien Minard, Jean-Christophe Peraud

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