Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tour de l'Avenir Stage 5: GC stays status quo; Breakaway takes it again

This year's Tour de l'Avenir has been quite fortuitous for breakaway riders with 2 stages already behind won by day long breakaways. Today had a similar story albeit the breakaway wasn't out there from kilometer 7 to the finish.

At just 101.6 kilometers, the stage was short but sweet and around a very comfortable 25 Celsius. It was fast from the depart in Bons-en-Chablais and didn't let up until the race hit the sprint point on the day, where Davide Martinelli took the win ahead of current points leader Fernando Gaviria (Colombia). The win got Martinelli back into the lead by one point but the two will still need to fight out the sprint points to see who will potentially win the overall.

Following the sprint, the race hit the Col de Saxel and a breakaway was allowed to get away but only just. Quentin Jauregui (France), Gabriel Chavanne (Switzerland), Mikel Iturria (Spain), Floris De Tier (Belgium) Sven Erik Bystrøm (Norway), Lennard Hofstede (Netherlands) Lukas Pöstlberger (Austria), Manuel Senni (Italy), Dan Pearson (GB) and Viktor Okishev (Kazakhstan). They were able to clear the Saxel, which Bystrøm won ahead of Pöstlberger, and following the descent with just 24 kilometers to go the break had a gigantic gap of...1'05". Colombia was on the front of the peloton protecting their leader Miguel Angel Lopez, who seemed quite comfortable in the lead.

After Quentin Jauregui attacked to spice things up a bit before the final climb, it would just be him, Pearson, De Tier, Bystrøm, Hofstede and Pöstlberger. They were fighting a lost cause and while making their way up the climb, they were caught up within the last 10 kilometers. When the climb had leveled out, the peloton was still huge.

At 3 kilometers, the peloton had thinned out to about 40 but still a bit large for finishing on a mountain. A few attacks were shooting off the front but it wasn't until Dylan Teuns (Belgium) attacked with 1.5 kilometers to go that something was able to stick. Teuns, who pulled a similar move in the Giro Valle d'Aosta and Tour de Bretagne, zoomed off and took advantage of a sleeping front group.
Teuns was able to hold an 8 second gap to the line where Alexander Foliforov (Russia) beat out Odd Eiking (Norway) and Robert Power (Australia) for 2nd place. Leader Miguel Angel Lopez stayed safe in 5th overall and GC stayed relatively the same with only 2nd place Sam Oomen losing 6 seconds.

Full Stage Results

Full GC Results

Also, it should be mentioned that France has been doing very well with Pierre-Roger Latour, Guillaume Martin and Jeremy Maison. All finished in the top 11 today and yesterday, all were in the top 18. Also, Portugal has been surprising consistent as they are sitting 2nd in the teams classification now after Joaquim Silva, Ruben Guerriero and Ricardo Ferreira finished 10th-19th on the last two stages.

Tomorrow is going to be short but brutal. The stage is only 108 kilometers but half of that is uphill and finishes on a steep mountain, La Rosiere.

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