Tour de l’Avenir

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Tour de l’Avenir translates as the “Tour of the Future” and this year’s race begins a chapter in the race with new ownership and an extended format. It’s now an eight day race reserved for U-23 riders and has to be the best single guage of new talent.

Past winners include Felice Gimondi, Joop Zoetemelk, Laurent Fignon, Greg LeMond, Miguel Indurain and Nairo Quintana.

The race is no longer the property of ASO, the Tour de France owners. Instead ASO provide technical support but the race has been sold to Philippe Colliou, organiser of the Tour de l’Ain. The race uses some of the same roads as the Tour de l’Ain and will be based in the Alps. It’s also under the umbrella of the UCI with the governing body using it to train officials. So just as the race is about tomorrow’s star riders its also used to give tomorrow’s officials valuable experience.

The 2013 edition is mountainous with several summit finishes including the final stage to the Plateau de Glières. It’s a route worthy of June’s Dauphiné race, indeed it shares some of the same roads used by that race… although with 50km less to cover every day.

It’s disputed by national teams and the Colombians are obvious picks, more so since they won the Ronde de l’Isard stage race back in May with Juan Chamoro who was solid in the mountains but competent in the plains too and second in the Tour de l’Avenir last year too. But I’m told team mate Heiner Parra was even stronger last May and could be the one to watch next week. France’s Clément Chevrier is a good all rounder, the same with Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Eritrea’s Merhawi  Kudus too. Meanwhile the sprint stages promise a battle between Germany’s Rick Zabel, Australian Caleb Ewan, Dane Lasse Norman Hansen and Dutchman Dylan Van Baarle to name just a few but they’ve only got two real chances and besides six-man teams make it hard to organise a chase.

Last year’s winner Warren Barguil is riding the Vuelta with Argos-Shimano. A real talent he’s not had the start in the pro ranks he wanted because of a back injury that’s stopped him from turning on the power but he could still impress in the Vuelta and will be a rider to watch in 2014.

The Tour de l’Avenir has a long list of big name winners although of course some riders didn’t become champions in the pro ranks. Here are the recent winners courtesy of Wikipedia

2000 Drapeau de l'Espagne Iker Flores Drapeau de la France David Moncoutié Drapeau de la Suisse Sven Montgomery
2001 Drapeau de la Russie Denis Menchov Drapeau de la France Florent Brard Drapeau de la France Sylvain Chavanel
2002 Drapeau de la Russie Evgueni Petrov Drapeau de la France Pierrick Fédrigo Drapeau de l'Espagne David Muñoz
2003 Drapeau de l'Espagne Egoi Martínez Drapeau de la Croatie Radoslav Rogina Drapeau de la France Samuel Dumoulin
2004 Drapeau de la France Sylvain Calzati Drapeau de la Suède Thomas Lövkvist Drapeau de la France Christophe Le Mével
2005 Drapeau du Danemark Lars Ytting Bak Drapeau de la France Christophe Riblon Drapeau du Kazakhstan Assan Bazayev
2006 Drapeau de l'Espagne Moisés Dueñas Drapeau des Pays-Bas Robert Gesink Drapeau de la Belgique Tom Stubbe
2007 Drapeau des Pays-Bas Bauke Mollema Drapeau de l'Allemagne Tony Martin Drapeau du Danemark André Steensen
2008 Drapeau de la Belgique Jan Bakelants Drapeau du Portugal Rui Costa Drapeau de la France Arnold Jeannesson
2009 Drapeau de la France Romain Sicard Drapeau des États-Unis Tejay van Garderen Drapeau de l'Allemagne Sergej Fuchs
2010 Drapeau de la Colombie Nairo Quintana Drapeau des États-Unis Andrew Talansky Drapeau de la Colombie Jarlinson Pantano
2011 Drapeau de la Colombie Esteban Chaves Drapeau du Canada David Boily Drapeau de l'Italie Mattia Cattaneo
2012 Drapeau de la France Warren Barguil Drapeau de la Colombie Juan Ernesto Chamorro Drapeau de l'Italie Mattia Cattaneo

Note the route has varied over the years which helps explain why Lars Ytting Bak won in 2005 as the race avoided the high mountains, instead using the gentler but still gruelling massif centrale region where a track specialist called Bradley Wiggins won the race’s designated mountain stage.

You can follow the race via its website and for now note the French version of the site has more up-to-date info: tourdelavenir.com

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{ 13 comments }

BC August 23, 2013 at 10:11 am

Excellent to see the race continue under new ownership, one has to assume that ASO could not turn a decent profit. Lets hope the new organizer is more financially successful. Also interesting to see that some of the sponsors are familiar names from the recent past.
Hoping this is one good sign, to stand out amongst the myriad of problems the sport is facing.

Sam August 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

Also watch out for the Yates twins. Simon’s had a good year in the GB U23 squad, with some wins under his belt – same goes for Adam, riding in France for CC Etudes (and finishing 16th in the London Classic earlier this month)

LM August 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

What a thoughtful idea, to use the race to train race officials and support staff. That subject would be an interesting read and a quality PR opportunity for the organizers.

Aquarius August 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm

It’s Massif Central, by the way, not centralE ;-)

Didn’t the race use to be a bit longer, like 10 days long, one or two dozen of years ago ?

Laurent August 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

It’s the second year that this race is organised by Philippe Colliou staff ;)

The Inner Ring August 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

You’re right… but isn’t this the first time with ASO out completely now leaving it to him and his colleagues?

jsachse August 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

What happened to Sergej Fuchs after 2009?
http://radsportseiten.net/coureurfiche.php?coureurid=19776

Tour de l’Avenir success seemed to be his turning point – downward.

Anonymous August 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Can a stagiaire participate?

Sam August 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I’d imagine so. I think the key criteria for selection by your home nation (in addition to nationality!) are age and amateur status.

Sam August 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Sorry, Anonymous, did you mean can a stagiaire participate whilst under contract to a pro team?

The Inner Ring August 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Yes and some are. See Merhawi Kudus on the UCI team who has been with the Bretagne Schuller team and rode in the recent Tour de l’Ain.

Anonymous August 24, 2013 at 12:06 am

Also if the rider is stagiaire with a WT team?

Trevor August 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Yeehaw. Just realised I am holidaying on the other side of the Pas de Morgins from two of the weekend stages so will be popping over.

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