The attack rewarded
22 August 2018
Whether they were sprinters or attackers, the runners of the plain did not want to miss the last opportunity that was offered them on the longest stage of the Tour de l’Avenir, 181.1 km between Le Blanc (Indre) and Cérilly ( Allier), on a relatively hilly course.
Exchanges were still particularly lively – more than 47 km in the first hour – before the good breakaway finally managed to emerge after 70 kilometers of intense racing. And it is in extremis that the attackers were again rewarded – for the third time since the departure of Brittany – by resisting for the five toughest of them in the rush of the sprinters in the last 500 meters of the false flat amount of arrival.
In the end, it was Alessandro Covi, 19, trainee in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) team, who gave the victory to the Italian team, narrowly defeating the Irishman Mark Downey whose last shot of kidney raised the front wheel on the line, while the Frenchman Simon Guglielmi ranked 3rd, confirming the good overall behavior of the Tricolores. The big losers of the day are therefore the Danes, over-represented in the breakaway with three out of nine riders, but this coup de force of the Nordic riders, winners of Monday against the team time trial, will not have allowed them to conclude victoriously.
The French Alan Riou retains the Yellow Jersey while the caravan took the road in the middle of this very hot Wednesday afternoon, heading to the Alps for four decisive stages by the grand finale, Sunday, Saint-Colomban-des -Villards, on the slopes of the Glandon pass. And to start this Thursday, at the end of the day (departure 17h) an ultra-short stage modeled on the model of the last Tour de France, only 35.4 km between Moûtiers and Méribel, first of four arrivals in altitude to come. Now it’s up to the climbers to play !