Archie Ryan’s ace
26 August 2023

Stage 7 a: Montricher -Albane – Les Karellis (11.1 km) c.l.m. Individual and 7th stage b: Les Karellis – Col du Mont-Cenis (69.6 km)

Une option pour Riccitello

It was to be expected. The day after the finish on the Col de la Loze, which had clearly established the hierarchy of climbers, stage 7, divided into two sectors, served to refine the general classification on the eve of the Tour de l’Avenir’s conclusion.

The morning time trial on the slopes leading up to the resort of Les Karellis largely confirmed American Matthew Riccitello in the CIC yellow jersey, as he won the stage by opening up significant gaps that now give him an option on overall victory.

It’s no surprise that 21-year-old Matthew Riccitello, who took part in the last Giro d’Italia with the Israel – Premier Tech team, had already made his mark with a promising 11th place in the time trial contested on the eve of the finish on the spectacular Monte Lussari.

The featherweight climber from Arizona was therefore the logical choice in his age category, pushing Italy’s Piganzoli and Mexico’s Del Toro past the one-minute mark in the overall classification at lunchtime.

Del Toro’s rebound

The downpour at midday led the organisers to allow the peloton to return to the valley in team vehicles for the start of the road section towards the Col du Mont Cenis.

This straight section didn’t fundamentally change the hierarchy, but a counter-attack with 4km to go allowed Isaac Del Toro to close the gap on the yellow jersey, which was isolated in the group of favourites, by 18 seconds. Above all, the Mexican took 2nd place overall (54 seconds behind the leader) at the expense of Piganzoli despite the strong Italian presence at the front.

So nothing is firm and definitive on the threshold of the final stage. In any case, the finish in Mont – Cenis gave Irishman Archie Ryan, 4th in last year’s Tour de l’Avenir but hampered this season by tendinitis and now out of the running in the general classification, the chance to take revenge before leaving the Jumbo Développement team for EF Éducation’s World Tour.
In his energetic style, the small Irish rider regained his energy to carry out his attack halfway up the climb.

The race concludes with a final day of high mountain action, with the crossing of the Col de l’Iseran before the epilogue in Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise.