Ag2r La Mondiale back for Tour Down Under

French team to ride in January ’09 race

France's Cyril Dessel (AG2R la Mondiale/Fra) celebrates after crossing the finish line on June 12, 2008 during the fourth stage of the 60th edition of the Criterium of the Dauphine Libere cycling race between the French southern cities of Vienne and Annemasse

The powerful French Ag2r La Mondiale team will be back for next year’s Tour Down Under in Australia, organisers said today.

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Ag2r La Mondiale has the best overall record in the Tour Down Under with four winners since the first race in 1999 – Spaniard Mikel Astarloza (2003), Gilles Maignan of France (2000), Australian Simon Gerrans (2006) and Swiss Martin Elmiger (2007).

“It is great news that such a quality team will be competing in Adelaide in January,” race director Mike Turtur said.

“We know that the Ag2r team gets results at the Tour Down Under and can consistently perform at cycling’s highest level.”

The Ag2r La Mondiale rider roster includes: Martin Elmiger, Sebastien Hinault, Alexander Efimkin, Vladimir Efimkin, Nicholas Roche, Rene Mandri and Alexandr Pliuschin.

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The 2009 Tour Down Under will be held in South Australia from January 18 to 25.