French outfit Ag2r La Mondiale are one of the longest continuously running top-level teams, with their roots going back to 1992 as the Chazal squad founded by former professional rider Vincent Lavenu – who is still the squad’s manager.
The stubbornly brown-shorted team have been perennial also-rans at the Tour de France for many years. However, that started to change in the 2014 Tour de France when the team’s Jean-Christophe Péraud and Romain Bardet placed second and sixth behind overall winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
A win for Bardet on a stage of the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné looked like it would set the scene for a great Tour performance. However, Bardet couldn’t quite match his form of the previous year, but did take a stage win (along with team-mate Alexis Vuillermoz) and complete the race in ninth place overall.
Up-and-coming rider Alexis Gougeard then claimed the team’s third Grand Tour victory of the year in the Vuelta a España, winning stage 19.
Bardet then placed second overall again in the 2016 Tour, confirming his Grand Tour credentials and giving France a real hope of seeing a home winner. And 2017 saw him take a stage win and finish third for a consistent run of podium appearances.
Like Gougeard, Alexandre Geniez also established himself as one of the team’s most successful riders, taking a stage win in the 2016 and 2018 Vueltas, and excelling in French races, taking stage victories in the Tour de l’Ain, and winning the 2018 Tour La Provence.