Additions to team increase points total in advance of UCI teams decision

Gediminas BagdonasThe Ag2r La Mondiale team has ensured it is in a better position to secure a WorldTour licence for 2013 after signing two solid riders for the 2013 season.

It is taking on An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly’s Gediminas Bagdonas and Astana’s Valentin Iglinskiy.

The French team is sitting seventeenth of eighteen teams in this year’s WorldTour rankings. While the UCI’s calculations are not based on that list, it gives a general indication of its place in the hierarchy of teams. Only the top fifteen teams in that UCI-calculated hierarchy are guaranteed a licence, providing the other requirements are in order.

Of the five teams between sixteenth and twentieth, three will get a licence while two will be rejected. If possible, Ag2r wants to avoid any uncertainty and today’s signing announcements reflect that intention.

Bagdonas has had a strong season, and is currently eighth in the UCI’s Europe Tour. The 26 year old’s successes include three stage wins and the overall in the Baltic Chain Tour, two stages in the An Post Rás, victory in the Memorial Philippe Van Coningsloo and the Ronde Van Noor Holland, plus second in the 1.1 Rund um Koln. He also won the Lithuanian road race championships.

Winner of the 2011 An Post Rás plus a stage in the Tour of Britain, he was expected to step up from Continental level this season with the Geox TMC team. However it disintegrated after the sponsors unexpectedly walked away. He has inked a two year deal with the team.

Valentin Iglinskiy is coming on board for one year, moving after three years with Astana. During that time he won the Tour of Hainan twice and also took a stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey, but this year the Kazakhstan rider found himself in the services of others. Given the strength of the Astana team, the 28 year old could well find greater opportunity on Ag2r La Mondiale next season.
 

     

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