Geniez earns last ticket for France's worlds team

AG2R rider Alexandre Geniez, seen in this file photo winning the 12th stage of the Tour of Spain, beat compatriot Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) to the final spot in France's world road race championship team.

PARIS — AG2R rider Alexandre Geniez beat compatriot Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) to the final spot in France's world road race championship team, it was announced Thursday.

The championships will be held on a hilly course around Innsbruck, Austria from next week, meaning specialist climbers, all-rounders and super-domestiques are filling the places of most teams.

Barguil, a two-time Tour de France stage winner last year, had been vying with Geniez but also Guillaume Martin and Alexis Vuillermoz to join a team which is expected to be led by Thibaut Pinot.

But national team coach Cyrille Guimard opted for Geniez on the basis of his recent participation on the Tour of Spain, where he won a stage.

"It's the workload over three weeks on this race that was the game-changer for me," Guimard told the French cycling federation website. "It's a circuit made for riders who have put a lot of miles in," he added.

France team for world championship road race (Sept. 30):

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step), Romain Bardet, Tony Gallopin and Alexandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale), Rudy Molard, Thibaut Pinot and Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ), Pierre Rolland (EF Drapac).

Leclerc to sponsor Tour’s

polka dot jersey in 2019

French retailer Leclerc said it will replace rival Carrefour as the sponsor of the Tour de France cycling race's polka dot jersey, which is awarded to the best climber, from 2019.

Privately-owned Leclerc is France's largest food retailer by market share. Carrefour said in May that it would end its contracts as official sponsor of the French Football Federation and of the Tour de France, the world’s most famous cycling race.

Carrefour, Europe's largest retailer, in January announced cost savings of 2 billion euros ($2.34 billion) by 2020. — Agencies