Stage 9 – A Hungarian at the top
24 August 2019

TIGNES (Savoie) – Hungary has given few top-level riders to international cycling, with the exception of the solid Laszlo Bodrogi, who won time trial and online stages and also wore the yellow jersey for the 2000 and 2001 Tour de l’Avenir. But the event was at the time held under the “open” formula, open to young people from professional teams, and the Hungarian was then wearing the colours of the Mapei team for which he had signed the 500th victory on this occasion!

But it was under the jersey of the Hungarian national team that Attila Valter triumphed this Saturday, and in fine weather, at an altitude of more than 2,000 metres, in the resort of Tignes, where the Tour de France could not reach last month due to a hailstorm and a major mudflow.

Attila VALTER (HUN) wins solo in Tignes. Photo © Tour de l’Avenir / E. Haumesser

Where Attila Valter passes, his breakaway companions pass away as the Hungarian first let the Swiss Bissegger (winner at Privas) who had tried to anticipate, exhaust himself, then he pushed the Spaniard Agirre aside on the final climb to Tignes. The Hungarian therefore managed to combine his attacking temperament with attractive climbing skills to resist to the end and win, at 21 years old, a victory that calls for others.

Attila VALTER (HUN) in the climb of Tignes, in front of the Swiss Stefan BISSEGGER, the Spanish Jon AGIRRE and the Italian Samuele BATTISTELLA. Photo © Tour de l’Avenir / E. Haumesser

It was also necessary to resist the group of favourites, whose yellow jersey itself isolated itself in the final kilometers to consolidate its position, especially since it had long been led effectively by its compatriot Torjus Sleen, whom the leader did not fail to thank warmly for the remarkable work accomplished in his favour.

The yellow jersey Tobias FOSS (NOR) was helped by his teammate Torjus SLEEN on the final climb to Tignes. Photo © Tour de l’Avenir / E. Haumesser

Thus, Tobias Foss, only fifteen seconds behind the stage winner, takes this time a big option on the final victory, this Sunday at Le Corbier, at the end of what can be considered as the “queen” stage with the climbs of the very difficult Col du Glandon from the start, before crossing the Croix de Fer and the formidable Col du Mollard. In other words, the sum of the difficulties, grouped into only 78 km, remains significant.

In any case, Tobias Foss is the most consistent at this stage, as evidenced by his final pressing, while his opponents take turns cracking. This time, it was the American Jörgenson, 2nd overall at the start of the stage (23”) who lost his footing, like the Belgian Vansevenant the day before at Col de la Loze. And it is the Italian Giovanni Aleotti, former yellow jersey (at Saint-Julien-Chapteuil) and now wearing the best climber’s polka dot jersey, who is the most resistant, now in second place overall. And if four riders were standing in less than a minute at the start of this penultimate stage, Tobias Foss has now pushed his closest opponent back to 1’10”, which gives him a certain margin of safety.

Frenchman Clément CHAMPOUSSIN (back, n° 23) tried but was not able to outrun Belgian Ilan VAN WILDER (front, n° 15). Photo © Tour de l’Avenir / E. Haumesser

The Frenchman Clément Champoussin played his cards well on the côte de Montalbert, the penultimate difficulty located about twenty kilometres from the finish, but he was unable to take a break and on the contrary paid dearly for his efforts on the final climb. However, he remains in the race for the podium, 25 seconds separating him from the Belgian Van Wilder, currently in third place, which reflects Belgium’s great team on this edition.

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