Stage 3 – British double
17 August 2019
Mauriac (CANTAL) – To be particularly splendid, the roads of the Dordogne, the Corrèze and then the bumps of the Cantal have put the peloton of the Tour de l’Avenir to the test, although it is far from having seen everything in terms of difficulties by the end in Savoie, via the Massif Central!
In fact, it was a first peloton of no more than twenty riders that showed up on the beautiful finish ramp in Mauriac, where Great Britain scored the double with its sprinter Ethan Hayter and the young prodigy Thomas Pidcock, who shines both in cyclo-cross and on the cobbles of Paris – Roubaix where he won in the junior category, and which we are curious to see soon in the high mountains.
Beyond the dry result of this stage of contact with the rugged terrain, the yellow jersey has changed owners. The Danish Mathias Jörgensen, leader since the first day in Marmande but who gave up on the last climb (as did the Swiss Bissegger, his runner-up), is succeeded by another Nordic, the Norwegian Tobias Foss, 22 years old, a well referenced value, who signed a contract at the World Tour level with the Jumbo-Wisma team. Tobias Foss, who benefited from Norway’s good performance in the team time trial (2nd), presents himself as a candidate in the overall ranking, since his two previous experiences on the Tour de l’Avenir resulted in two “top 10” (7th in 2017, 9th in 2018).
The breakaway of the day, which had formed after the first hour of racing, initially composed of Belgian Reynders, British Balfour, German Märkl and the regional team from Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Acosta, had suffered the return of a counter-attack group before being definitively absorbed on the last climb where the Spaniard Lazkano was the last to insist at the end of this tough day. Nevertheless, Thomas Acosta (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) did not miss the opportunity to accumulate enough points to take on the polka dot jersey for the best climber.
The 4th stage, held this Sunday between Mauriac (Cantal) and Espalion (Aveyron) over 158 km, still has a positive altitude difference of 2300 metres but also offers an easier final that could give sprinters a chance.