04 August 2017
Pierre-Yves Chatelon, the coach of the French under-23, is aware that he may not have a climber of the caliber of David Gaudu, winner of last year’s Tour de l’Avenir, for this edition of the race that will connect Brittany to the Alps from August 18th to 27th.
This does not mean that the French team will line-up at the start without ambition, on the contrary, and the team selection announced at the end of the mid-July training camp in Maurienne proves that the Bleus have punch.
Here are the riders who will represent the French team on the Tour de l’Avenir 2017:
• Franck BONNAMOUR, 22, professional with team Fortuneo – Oscaro. If the Breton is a little uncomfortable in the high mountains, his punch has been widely tested in the youth categories (European junior champion in 2013). Aggressive during several professional races this spring, he is expected to compete in the U23 World Championships in Norway.
• Axel JOURNIAUX, 22 years old, Vendée U. This Breton of origin, who will join the professional team Direct Energie, is in full progression. Winner of a stage on the U23 Course de la Paix this year, he is a true puncher worth keeping an eye on especially during the stages that precede the mountains.
• Victor LAFAY, 21 years old, Bourg-en-Bresse – Ain Cyclisme. Held back by injuries during the last two seasons, he is back to full fitness as this weekend’s French U23 national title demonstrates. Also a puncher, he is at his best in hard races and may even harbor some ambitions for the general classification.
• Valentin MADOUAS, 21 years old, UC Nantes-Atlantique. The son of the former Breton climber Laurent Madouas appears as one of the leaders of the new generation, as his national 2016 amateur title indicates. He must confirm his climbing progress and will line-up highly motivated by the prospect of a Grand départ held in Brittany. He trained on the Tour de l’Ain as an FDJ stagiaire and will be one of their full members next season.
• Aurélien PARET-PAINTRE, 21 years old, Chambéry Cyclisme Formation. A broken scaphoid upset its first part of the season but he will arrive fresh at the great rendez-vous of the Tour de l’Avenir. His skills range is wide and last year was a contributor to David Gaudu win.
As for the sixth man, Mathias Le Turnier had been expected, but the Cofidis team to which he belongs cannot make him available during the busy month of August. Pierre-Yves Chatelon will probably call up Simon Sellier, 22, a member of Vendée U.