Del Toro turns everything on its head
27 August 2023

This is a great first for Mexico on the Tour de l’Avenir, which is living up to its vocation of discovering talent from all horizons. Above all, it’s a real revelation. Virtually unknown on the international scene, 19-year-old Mexican Isaac Del Toro shook things up on the last stage, which was stunning in every way.

He had opened up a gap by counter-attacking on the Col du Mont-Cenis on Saturday afternoon, and it was a sign that he wasn’t giving up after American Matthew Riccitello had consolidated his yellow jersey in the uphill time trial towards the resort of Les Karellis on Saturday morning. But the American, who was very isolated, put himself in great danger when he was unable to respond to a new attack from Isaac Del Toro on the giant Iseran pass. All it took was for the young Mexican to cross the summit a few seconds ahead of his American rival, who was putting on a piece of clothing for the descent, for the race to be turned on its head.

Isaac Del Toro had once again provoked destiny and it was with conviction that he led a group of attackers within which he increased the suspense but also the gaps which soon became irremediable for the yellow jersey in perdition. Matthew Riccitello showed great energy and self-sacrifice in defending his yellow jersey, but the match was already lost to him at the foot of the final climb to the resort of Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise.

At the finish, Isaac Del Toro logically didn’t try too hard to oppose the stage victory of Italian rider Giulio Pellizzari, who had spared no effort and well deserved it, as well as repositioning himself in 2nd place in the final classification. Nearly three minutes passed before Riccitello took his turn and he would not be Greg LeMond’s American successor in the Tour de l’Avenir, 41 years on. Even the podium eluded the young American, with the 3rd step going to another Italian, the small climber Davide Piganzoli, thanks to a final counter-attack that the American was no longer able to control.

Four leader’s jerseys!

Two Italians on the podium, and a deserved victory for Italy in the team classification. But it was total success for Del Toro, who donned the yellow CIC jersey and took all the leader’s jerseys: the green Biofioul in the points classification (1st in the Col de la Loze, 2nd in Evaux-les-Bains, Mont-Cenis and Sainte-Foy-Tarentzise); the Alden polka-dot jersey for best climber, the white De Dietrich for best young rider under 20 and, for good measure, the Mexican was also logically designated super combative! It was a raid on the leader’s jerseys the likes of which the race hasn’t seen since Warren Barguil in 2012, when the white jersey wasn’t awarded.

A climber was born at the 59th Tour de l’Avenir, but Isaac Del Toro’s varied repertoire will not leave scouts indifferent, despite the fact that Del Toro, a member of his country’s modest continental outfit Monex, does not belong to any of the World Tour teams’ development squads. Clearly, his phone is going to ring.