The Tour de l’Avenir is back on track. The 57th edition, which had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, will take place from 13 to 22 August 2021 on a route that follows the main lines of the one planned last year.
More than ever, the Tour de l’Avenir justifies its reputation as the Tour de France for young riders, as shown by the recent prize list, with the victories of the Colombian Egan BERNAL (2017) or the Slovenian Tadej POGACAR (2018) who did not wait more than two years, one like the other, to triumph in the Tour de France!
As initially planned last year, the event will start with an individual time trial prologue in Charleville-Mézières (Ardennes). It will be six years since the Tour de l’Avenir offered this kind of exercise as a prelude, so that all the specialities of road cycling will be tackled for this event that serves as a springboard for the champions of tomorrow.
The so-called flat stage, through the Aisne and the Seine-et-Marne, will also be marked by a team time trial around Laon, and then the course will make a large incursion into the Grand-East region.
As it is traditionnal, it is of course the mountains that are the main marker of the event, from the Jura to the Savoie, the usual stopping point. A first day of medium altitude through the Jura will precede a finish at the top of the dreaded Grand-Colombier pass, approached by the twists and turns of the Culoz (Ain) slope, where Tadej POGACAR won a stage of the 2020 Tour de France. The next day, the day before the finish, a “flash” stage (60 kilometres), on a very spectacular format already experimented by the Tour de l’Avenir in the last years, will submit the peloton of the hopefuls to the test of the Alps with the col du Mollard before the finish in Saint-Jean d’Arves, on the slopes of the col de la Croix-de-Fer. And nothing will probably be definitively decided before the final stage and the denouement at more than two thousand meters of altitude, at the summit of the Petit-Saint-Bernard, at the French-Italian border after the crossing of the Iseran, the highest road pass in Europe (2764 m) where Egan BERNAL had forged his success in the 2019 Tour de France.
Organised by Alpes Vélo, the Tour de l’Avenir, which supports the final round of the UCI Nations Cup for the under 23s, will take place as usual under the national selection formula (six riders). The return of this event is essential for the age group of international hopefuls who want to prove themselves in order to reach the higher echelons. In this respect, the Tour de l’Avenir is the reference event and a revelation of new talents.