Alexis Vuillermoz has been announced as the third current AG2R La Mondiale rider to be making the move from the French WorldTour team to French ProTeam Total Direct Energie for next season.
Vuillermoz arrives at the team as a veteran of nine Grand Tours, with seven of those being the Tour de France, which he rode this year in support of Romain Bardet and Pierre Latour. He also won stage 8 of the 2015 Tour at Mûr-de-Bretagne, ahead of Dan Martin – winner of stage 3 of the Vuelta a España on Thursday – and Alejandro Valverde, while his most recent victory came at the Drôme Classic in 2019.
"I'm so happy to be joining Total Direct Energie," the 32-year-old Frenchman said in a team press release on Wednesday. "In the team's days as Bouygues Telecom, I'd already follow it closely with the desire to one day join.
"I spoke to [team manager] Jean-René Bernaudeau at length on the phone, discussing what it was I was looking for, and we were immediately on the same wavelength," said Vuillermoz. "Both the sporting aspects and the human values of the team are what prompted me to sign here."
Vuillermoz had signed a one-year extension with AG2R for next season, but appears to have extricated himself from that contract in order to join Bernaudeau's Total Direct Energie set-up on a two-year contract.
There will be some very familiar faces among Vuillermoz's teammates for next season. Current AG2R riders Pierre Latour and Alexandre Geniez have both already put pen to paper for Bernaudeau's squad, and the team has also engaged current Circus-Wanty Gobert rider Fabien Doubey to further strengthen the team's climbing ranks.
Vuillermoz said that he's particularly looking forward to riding in the service of Latour, but will also get opportunities for himself in certain races.
"I'm very happy to be following Pierre here, and to be able to support him as he continues to progress," said Vuillermoz of the 2018 Tour de France's best young rider. "He's a very talented rider, who I get on very well with, and as well as being an excellent rouleur, his qualities as a climber put him right up there with the best."