Tour de l’Avenir wraps with Australia top of the team classification and three in the top tenSun 27 Aug 2017
Rising talent Lucas Hamilton sealed fourth place overall at the Tour de l’Avenir today with Australia wrapping up a successful nine days of racing by securing the win in the best team classification.
Three Mitchelton-SCOTT riders finished in the top ten overall with Michael Storer in ninth and Jai Hindley in tenth behind Hamilton who narrowly missed out on a podium spot.
Pavel Sivakov (Russia) soloed out of the breakaway on today’s final stage to take the victory with Egan Bernal (Columbia) looking comfortable throughout to secure the overall title and the yellow jersey.
Australia can look back on a solid string of performances at the 2017 edition that started with multiple top ten finshes on the early stages for Robert Stannard and consistent team displays from Callum Scotson and Sam Jenner in support of Hamilton, Hindley and Storer.
Not without it’s drama the race played out much as anticipated with the sprinters team dominating the first six stages before the mountains predictably turned the race on it’s head and brought out the GC contenders.
“The whole team has been fantastic throughout the race,” said sport director James Victor. “I couldn’t have asked for more from the boys and to win the team classification is great vindication of all the hard work they have put in and it means we don’t go away empty handed from nine really tough day’s of racing.”
“We came here with higher ambitions due to our successful year so far, but even though the podium eluded us this time around we finished with all six riders and three in the top ten so we need to be happy with that.
“This was probably the strongest field I’ve seen at this event and a very difficult parcours. The top riders marked each other very closely and did not want to give anything away, but despite that we attacked and tried to put them under pressure of these last stages in the Alps and I’m proud of how we performed.
“These boys are the next WorldTour professionals and to prepare for the transition into the professional ranks they need to compete at the biggest and hardest races and it doesn’t get any bigger than this one. The experience will stand the boys in good stead and the skills they develop here will take them into the next phase of their career.”
How it happened:
The ninth and final stage of the 2017 race witnessed a controlled and rather steady start with three riders going clear very early as the bunch hit the slopes of the Col du Madeleine.
Posing no threat to the general classification the trio was allowed the chance to develop an advantage on the climb, standing at two minutes 30seconds as they crested the iconic Alp.
The peloton had reduced to a favourites group of 25riders that included Hamilton, Storer and Hindley for Australia alongside race leader Bernal.
The Russian Sivakov went clear from the break on the final climb with ten kilometres remaining with the favourites group still together and controlled by Columbia.
Sivakov pushed on alone to the stage victory as the favourites marked each other out of contention with Hamilton finishing in seventh place on the day and sealing fourth overall.
Tour de l’Avenir stage 9 results:
1. Pavel Sivakov (Russia) 03:03:27
2. Neilson Powless (United States) +2:31
3. Dimitry Strakhov (Russia) +3.01
7. Lucas Hamilton (Australia) ST
Final General Classification:
1. Egan Bernal (Columbia) 29:56:33
2. Bjorg Lambrecht (Belgium) +1:09
3. Niklas Eg (Denmark) +1.12
4. Lucas Hamilton (Australia) +1:28