Hamilton takes fourth on the first mountains test of the Tour de l’Avenir

Fri 25 Aug 2017

Tour de Alsace winner Lucas Hamilton finished well for Australia on today’s summit finish of stage seven of the Tour de l’Avenir taking fourth place after an explosive battle on the final climb.

We’ve been waiting patiently for a few days and today the Alps finally arrived, a short but testing seventh stage saw fireworks on the last climb as attacks out of the favourites group blew the race apart.

Michael Storer unleashed the first telling attacks with eight kilometres remaining and was followed by Egan Bernal (Colombia) and Pavel Sivakov (Russia).

Hamilton jumped across followed by Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Jai hindley just as Bernal launched what turned into a stage winning attack as Hamilton chased alongside the rest of the race favourites.

Australia ended up with Hamilton, Hindley and Storer all finishing in the top twenty with Bernal moving into the race lead and Hamilton up to fourth overall with two tough stages to come.

“The boys rode very impressively today and showed great team spirit and commitment,” said sport director James Victor. “We knew that the tables would turn as soon as we hit the mountains and that’s exactly what happened, Michael showed his strength with the initial dig and that what sparked the action.”

“Of course we would have liked to have finished the stage at the top, but you don’t get close to that without attacking and trying something which is what we did. Lucas did a super job and showed how consistently he climbs and we are now in touch and in a good position with two very demanding stages to come.

“Recovery and consistency will be crucial over the next couple of days. The boys are very well prepared and confident in their own ability and commitment to each other and now we have to show ourselves sand not lose focus.”

How it happened:

After six mainly flat and rolling stages today’s stage seven hit the high mountains and witnessed the start of the race for the overall title.

A six-rider breakaway went up the road on the first climb and began to develop a strong advantage over the peloton.

The leaders were working well together, but started to slip in the second half of the stage as the group reduced to four riders holding around four minutes 20seconds on the peloton going into the final 40kilometres.

Twenty kilometres later and the quartet had only lost one minute and looked set to carry their advantage onto the final climb to Hauteluce-Les Saisies.

Attacks started to fly out of the bunch as the race hit the final ten kilometres and the leaders at one-minute 30seconds with Storer jumping followed by Pavel Sivakov (Russia), Bernal and a few others including Hamilton to form the selection.

Bernal kicked again and dropped his companions before passing the remnants of the breakaway and soloing away to an impressive victory for Columbia with Hamilton finishing strongly in fourth place.

Tour de l’Avenir stage seven results:

1. Egan Bernal (Colombia) 03:14:23

2. James Knox (Great Britain) 00:00:59

3. Bjorg Lambrecht (Belgium) 00:01:08

4. Lucas Hamilton (Australia) ST

General classification after stage seven:

1. Egan Bernal (Columbia) 22:58:47

2. James Knox (Great Britain) 00:1:00

3. Bjorg Lambrecht (Belgium) 00:01:09

4. Lucas Hamilton (Australia) ST