The striker’s bonus
24 August 2023

The approach to the Alps, where the peloton of the Tour de l’Avenir will be subjected to the test of (very) high mountains over the next three days until the finish on Sunday in the Haute-Tarentaise, proved to be very intense, despite the heatwave which led to the start of the 5th stage in La Tour de Salvagny, near Lyon, being brought forward by two hours (10.30am). It was at an average speed of 47 km/h that the group of twelve breakaways, who had broken away very early on under the effect of a side wind, came up against the very tricky difficulties of the last twenty kilometres. The initiative was crowned with success, the attackers following through on their intentions, particularly the Spaniard Ivan Roméo Abad, who put in a fine solo performance in the final stretch to take victory on the shores of Lac d’Aiguebelette, where the temperature reached 38 degrees at the finish at 2pm. Confirmation for the 20-year-old Spaniard, already a member of the Movistar World Tour team.

The hilly finish and especially the final climb and twisty descent of the côte du Terreau plunging down towards Lac d’Aiguebelette considerably scattered the field, which arrived in small bunches in front of the timekeepers. Nevertheless, the gaps were not decisive and Danish rider Simon Dalby joined the escapees to finish 5th in the stage and retain his CIC yellow jersey.

The approach of the Alps, which over the next three days and until the finish on Sunday in the Haute-Tarentaise will subject the peloton of The French team, which rallied behind the breakaway where it was not represented, has slightly deteriorated its advanced positions in the overall classification, where until now it had three riders in the top four.

Pierre Thierry’s sacrifice took Le Breton off the front row, but it wasn’t in vain as Mathys Rondel is still 2nd overall at 13 seconds and Axel Huens is still in a good 8th place at 48 seconds.

A crucial day now lies ahead with a short (65km) but dense 6th stage from Meribel to the finish on the Col de la Loze with almost 2400 metres of ascent!