Ben Gastauer to retire at the end of the 2021 season

After 12 years with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, Ben Gastauer, 33, will end his career at the end of the 2021 season due to a pelvic floor problem which is hampering his ability to compete at the top level.

Vincent Lavenu, manager général de l’équipe AG2R CITROËN says:

« Ben Gastauer came from our training center and has spent his entire career with the team. He is a rider who is appreciated by everyone and who has been an essential element in many great team successes such as our Tour de France 2014 team classification victory. His excellent fitness level, his loyalty, and his kindness will leave a lasting impression of his time in the team. I wish him a successful post-cycling career and that he will take as much pleasure in his family life as he did in his professional career».Vincent

Ben Gastauer : « We accomplished great things together. »

« My pelvic floor problem has handicapped me since mid-April. I couldn’t sit on a bike for two months and still have pain today. I spoke to Vincent about my willingness to hang up the bike. He is giving me the gift of letting me finish my career at the Tour du Luxembourg (September 14-18), in front of my family and friends. It will be a great way for me to end my career. It is rare to have a whole career riding on the same team and I am very happy to have had this opportunity. We accomplished great things together, notably the podiums for Jean-Christophe Péraud and Romain Bardet at the Tour de France, which will remain my fondest memories. »Ben



Ben Gastauer spent 12 years, from 2010 to 2021, with the team. He completed the 2009 season at Chambéry Cyclisme Formation. He has won 3 professional victories (Luxembourg national champion for individual time trial in 2012, and the winner of a stage and the general classification of the Tour du Haut Var in 2015).


Last race in the Tour du Luxembourg

Ben Gastauer will complete his last days as a professional cyclist at the Tour du Luxembourg (September 14-18).

— Antonin Uvietta to www.ag2rcitroenteam.com

Tour de France (stage 20): Ben O’Connor 4th in GC, Aurélien Paret Peintre 15th

Ben O’Connor : «I’m taking a new step forward»

«On Friday, I felt a lot of emotion thinking about the Tour de France, and what I was doing. Today, I am super happy. I have taken a new step forward with a team that trusted an Australian rider. When I think back to what we went through the first day, where I thought I had a fractured shoulder, had stitches and was sore all over the place, and that most of the team had also crashed, I can only savor what we are going through right now.»Ben

Aurélien Paret-Peintre : «I’m satisfied»

« It was a difficult time in a superb landscape… which I found very beautiful to watch on TV before taking the start. I am happy to finish my first Tour de France. My results are pretty good, even if the last week was difficult. I was able to get into two great breakaways which pushed me forward towards a good spot in the overall classification. I am satisfied.»Aurélien

Le chiffre


With Ben O’Connor’s 4th place, it will be the eighth time since 2014 that a rider from the AG2R CITROËN TEAM has finished in the top 10 of the Tour de France.

Jean-Christophe Péraud finished 2nd in 2014, Romain Bardet, 2nd in 2016, 3rd in 2017, 6th in both 2014 and in 2018, as well as 9th in 2015, and now Ben O’Connor is 4th in 2021.

The news

Ben O’Connor will return to racing at the Deutschland Tour

After a few days off, Ben O’Connor will return to competition at the Deutschland Tour (August 26-29). He should then participate in the Tour du Jura (September 4), the Tour du Doubs (September 5) and the Tour du Luxembourg (September 14-18).

Aurélien Paret Peintre, Nans Peters, and Dorian Godon will compete in the Tour de l’Ain (July 29 – August 1).

Oliver Naesen will be at the start of the Arctic Race (August 5-8) and then the Cyclacics Hamburg (August 22).

Greg Van Avermaet, Michaël Schär and Benoit Cosnefroy will participate to the Olympic race (July 24th).

These programs are subject to change.

— Antonin Uvietta to www.ag2rcitroenteam.com

Tour de France (stage 18) : Ben O’Connor takes 8th on the stage and moves up to 4th in the GC

Ben O’Connor: «The third week of the Grand Tours suit me well»

“I didn’t feel as good as the day before, but I managed to get through it. It’s a good day for me and for the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. The third week of the Grand Tours suit me well. Wilco Kelderman and I did the same race today. I’m fourth in the overall standings but the gap with him is slim (32’’). We will see on Saturday after the time trial.”Ben

The number


Aurélien Paret Peintre is fifteenth in the general classification and fourth in the best young rider classification. “For my first Tour, I am satisfied. There have been ups and downs, but I have been in the mix,” Aurélien Paret Peintre explained. The AG2R CITROËN team is fourth in the team classification.“It’s a great day for our team, without too much stress since the race was going so smoothly. In Brest, at the start of the Tour de France, we did not expect such a good result,” Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, said.

The news

Bidard, Chérel, Gastaeur, Peters and Venturini are back to racing

Five of our riders who have had to take a break from racing due to health problems will return to competition in the coming weeks.

Mikaël Chérel, who suffered a double collarbone fracture last November in training, will compete in his first race of the season on July 31 at the Clasica San Sebastian.

François Bidard will also return at the Clasica San Sebastian after having to abandon on the sixth stage of the Giro d´Italia with a fractured left collarbone.

Clément Venturini, who has not raced since abandoning during the fifth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné (due to a knee injury following a crash), and Nans Peters, who left the Tour de France during the 9th stage, because of a fracture of the lumbar transverse apophysis, will participate in the Tour de l’Ain (July 29-31).

Ben Gastauer, who has not raced since the Itzulia Basque Country in April and suffered from saddle sore issues, will be at the start of the Tour de Poland (August 9-15).

— Antonin Uvietta to www.ag2rcitroenteam.com

Tour de France (9e étape) : Victoire de Ben O’Connor

Ben O’Connor : « Du mal à contrôler mes émotions »

«Participer au Tour de France était un rêve. Gagner est du bonus. La course a été complétement folle. Il y a beaucoup de joie, j’ai du mal à contrôler mes émotions. Je suis tellement reconnaissant envers l’équipe AG2R CITROËN qui m’a fait confiance cette saison. Je ne m’étais pas préparé pour ça, je ne savais pas quoi faire dans l’échappée. J’ai vu qu’il y avait 5 minutes d’avance, on pouvait gagner du temps pour le général, et sur une journée longue comme celle-là tout peut se passer et au final je gagne. J’ai tout donné jusqu’à la fin, c’était une étape de fou. »Ben

Vincent Lavenu : « Un formidable état d’esprit »

“On partage une formidable histoire avec le Tour de France, on remporte très régulièrement des étapes et c’est à chaque fois des émotions incroyables qui viennent récompenser les efforts de chacun : les coureurs, les membres du staff et aussi nos partenaires. Ce sont des grands moments à vivre !
Cette performance se fait dans un formidable état d’esprit. On a une équipe qui est très agréable à vivre que ce soient les coureurs qui sont très copains, solidaires mais aussi un groupe qui travaille au quotidien avec de la sérénité. Ces moments-là apportent beaucoup d’apaisement.”Vincent

Le chiffre


L’équipe AG2R CITROËN a remporté le classement par équipes de l’étape grâce à la victoire de Ben O’Connor, à la 20e place de Benoit Cosnferoy et la 21e place d’Aurélien Paret Peintre. L’équipe occupe la deuxième place au classement général.


Abandon de Nans Peters

Nans Peters a abandonné en cours d’étape en raison de fortes douleurs lombaires. « Il avait été victime de contusions lombaires sans conséquences après ses deux chutes de la première étape qui le handicapaient lors des étapes de plat. La gêne était devenue beaucoup plus importante dans les étapes de montagne. C’est pour cette raison que nous avons décidé de faire réaliser un examen radiologique et échographique qui a décelé une petite fracture incomplète d’une apohpyse transverse lombaire. Cette lésion est sans gravité et il devrait pouvoir reprendre l’entrainement lorsque la gêne aura disparu, certainement dans une dizaine de jours », dit le docteur Eric Bouvat, responsable médical de l’équipe AG2R CITROËN.

— Kevin Bottin to www.ag2rcitroenteam.com

Ben the Aggressor! | Israel Start-Up Nation

Ben Hermans Great Victory in Italy


A winner cannot play it safe. He’s got to take the bull by the horns when the moment presents itself, and then not look back.

That was BEN HERMANS all the way today in one of his most impressive victories, wearing ISN’s colors at the Italian one-day race of Giro dell’Appennino. 

His move came 3 kilometers to the top of the last climb of the day, the Madonna della Guardia. Until then, the team supported him greatly – taking part in controlling the peloton in the front alongside INEOS and setting a high pace in the last climb. 

Giro dell’Appennino 2021 – 82nd Edition – Pasturana – Genova 192 km – 24/06/2021 – Ben Hermans (BEL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

The move by Ben was decisive. Just two riders were able to stay close and Ben held only a 20-second gap on the top.

But 24 km were still awaiting …

After a very fast descent, Ben went into TT mode and he was so powerful and determined, nobody was able to close the small gap and he won with 30 seconds to spare.

“He told us on the radio that he felt great,” recalled DS Cherie Pridham (who brought home this win in her first race as leading sports director). 

And great he was. 

“I’m obviously really happy that today all went according to what we had planned. I have to thank all my teammates for their work. Especially the young guys, Sebastian and Alexis who did the longest pulls today to put me into a good situation in the final of the race.

“In the last climb I got paced well by Tom and Alex, [who] made the race hard so when the attacks followed by other teams, we were very soon only with three guys left.

“1.5 km before the top of the last climb, Moscon and Ayuso dropped also and I had to go 25 km solo, which wasn’t easy because of technical downhill and 15 km of full headwind on the flat roads to the coast.

Giro dell’Appennino 2021 – 82nd Edition – Pasturana – Genova 192 km – 24/06/2021 – Scenery – Ben Hermans (BEL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

“[I] expanded the gap from 20 seconds to 45 seconds and had all the time to put Factor in the picture at the finish line. For sure the Factor Ostro helped me on the flat roads to expand the gap and stay in front to take the win. Finally, I won a race on this amazing bike, after the TTT win in Coppi e Bartali.”

The ISN team today:
Ben Hermans
Sebastian Berwick
Alexis Renard 
Tom Van Asbroeck
Alex Cataford 
Hugo Hofstetter

— Tsadok to israelcyclingacademy.com