Mitchelton-SCOTT riders motivated for season’s main objective at the Tour de l’Avenir

Thu 17 Aug 2017

The most prestigious race on the U23 calendar, the Tour de l’Avenir, begins this week, with Mitchelton-SCOTT boasting five of the six riders racing as the Australian national team at the nine-day stage race starting on Friday.

After an incredibly successful 2017 season so far that includes 35 podiums out of 41 international race days and second and third at the prestigious Baby Giro d’Italia, the Australian U23 team approach l’Avenir with confidence and a line up full of capabilities.

Tour of Alsace winner Lucas Hamilton and Baby Giro stage seven winner Jai Hindley are two of the team’s stand out performers this year alongside the consistently impressive Michael Storer and Australian U23 national road champion Sam Jenner.

Hamilton spoke of the unpredictability of racing at U23 level and also the difficulties encountered going up against the best young riders in the world.

“In the U23 ranks it is always predictably unpredictable,” explained Hamilton. “There will be plenty of guys up there climbing well including Pavel Sivakov (BMC) who won the Baby Giro and Aosta and it will certainly be a tough field of competition.”

“It wont be just the mountain stages, there are also a lot of flat and sharp, lumpy stages that will be technical and quite stressful. The way the course runs it seems that the first six stages will be as important, if not more so, than the final three stages.”

The quartet will be racing as the Australian national U23 team and will be joined by Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Robert Stannard and BMC development rider and track specialist Callum Scotson.

“After the team’s most successful year to date the Tour de l’Avenir has been and remains our main objective,” said sport director James Victor. “This will be the longest Tour in recent history, covering nine stages in ten days with the first six stages contested over undulating terrain in the Bretagne region before heading into the mountains for the decisive final three days in the Alps.”

“We have a really strong and well-credentialed team here chasing success and our performance in the Baby Giro highlighted the work and progress of the team after non-stop podiums in the early season Australian summer.

“In Lucas and Jai we have two serious contenders for the GC whilst Michael has been consistently solid throughout the season. Callum comes to us from the BMC Development set up and along with Sam and Robert will play a strong supporting role and have opportunities to challenge through the early stages.

“Sam’s tireless commitment in support of his teammates and work ethic has been exemplary this season and will be vitally important to us in France. The motivation and togetherness within the squad is of the highest level and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

The Tour de l’Avenir starts on the 18th of August in Loudeac and concludes on the 27th in Abiez-Montrond in the Alps. An U23 version of the Tour de France, the race boasts a prestigious history and is considered to be the finishing school of future WorldTour champions.

Mitchelton-SCOTT (Australia) at the Tour de l’Avenir (18th – 27th August):

Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 21)

Jai Hindley (AUS, 21)

Samuel Jenner (AUS, 20)

Callum Scotson (AUS, 21)

Robert Stannard (AUS, 18)

Michael Storer (AUS, 21)

Tour de l’Avenir Stages:

Friday 18th August, stage 1: Louedeac to Loudeac, 134km

Saturday 19th August, stage 2: Inzinzac-Lochrist to Bignan, 132km

Sunday 20th August, stage 3: Missillac to Chateaubriant, 126km

Monday 21st August, stage 4: Derval to Samur, 167km

Tuesday 22nd August, stage 5: Montreuil-Bellay to Amboise, 157km

Wednesday 23rd August, stage 6: Montrichard to St-Amand-Montrond, 139km

Thursday 24th August: Rest Day

Friday 25th August, stage 7: St-Gervais-Mt-Blanc to Hauteluce-Les Saisies, 118km

Saturday 26th August, stage 8: Albertville to Ste-Foy Tarentaise, 121km

Sunday 27th August, stage 9: Bourg-St-Maurice to Abiez-Montrond, 107km