Stage 5 – The World Cycling Centre in the spotlight
19 August 2019
Saint-Julien-Chapteuil (HAUTE-LOIRE) – It was a rough day, cool and humid, and at times drowned in mist at the cruising altitude often located around 1,200 meters on the Aubrac plateau and the wild heights of the Margeride, in the middle of the Massif Central. However, this difficult 5th stage, Espalion (Aveyron) – Saint-Julien-Chapteuil (Haute-Loire), which did not in itself present a major difficulty but was “breakable” enough to offer some 3100 metres of positive altitude difference, did not upset the overall classification.
The breakaway of the day, with three riders to finish, was kept under the control of the French team, and Simon Guglielmi kept his yellow jersey won the day before, since the race is very open and three out of four breakaways have been completed since the start in Marmande last Thursday.
This time, it was the American Mattéo Jorgenson, who was only 2’47” behind in the overall classification, who virtually flirted with the yellow jersey in the breakaway, but the gap on the peloton (ruled by the Englishman Pidcock) finally reduced to around a minute and a half did not cause Simon Guglielmi and his tricolour teammates any trouble.
The main issue was therefore quickly related to the win of the stage, and it was the Irish Ben Healy who was the most inspired – and probably also the strongest – by distracting his last two companions, the Dane Morten Hulgaard and the American Matteo Jorgenson, four kilometres from the goal.
Member of the Wiggins team, Ireland’s Ben Healy is participating in this Tour de l’Avenir under the flag of the World Cycling Centre, as Ireland did not have a team in this edition. Although he is not a resident of the World Cycling Centre (WCC) throughout the year, Ben Healy has nevertheless honoured this training centre created by the International Cycling Union for riders from emerging countries who do not have the appropriate structures to support their best young people in a field of excellence. Many professionals have completed their apprenticeships at the CMC, and Christopher Froome is one example among many.
The 6th stage, this Tuesday between Saint-Julien-Chapteuil (Haute-Loire) and Privas (Ardèche) promises to be a transition day before the rest on Wednesday and the high-mountain sequence with the last four stages in Savoie.