Stage 4 – A French in yellow!18 August 2019
Espalion (Aveyron) – Second British victory in two days, and third carrier of the yellow jersey in four stages at the start of this very exciting Tour de l’Avenir.
The breakaway of the day launched in the first kilometers of this 4th stage, Mauriac (Cantal) – Espalion (Aveyron), difficult to control, led Frenchman Simon Guglielmi to the Yellow Jersey. The French team rider, who was 22nd at 1’23” behind the previous Norwegian leader Tobias Foss, was the best placed of the eight riders in the breakaway. The rolling final allowed them to keep two good minutes, almost half of what they had counted at the best of the day, especially since the British team, well equipped with sprinters, did not have to participate in the chase, giving Fred Wright, who represented them at the front, all the confidence. A profitable tactic, since the British rider did not miss the opportunity and won in Espalion, twenty-four hours after his compatriot Ethan Hayter, unfortunately forced to retire (broken collarbone) following a crash in the final.
As for Simon Guglielmi, he is certainly directly followed by the Italian Aleotti (2nd to 1″) but has a more substantial lead over the main favourites. A complete rider, with no great speciality but no real weak point, the Savoyard, 8th in the recent Tour of Italy U23, is competing this season as part of the Groupama-FDJ continental team. However, he does not a priori enter Marc Madiot’s World Tour formation plans, and his status as a “4th year” hopeful does not allow him, at 22, to consider pursuing his career within the reserve team. This yellow jersey that he can hope to take to his home region for the final sequence in Savoie (from Thursday to Sunday) highlights his qualities that may perhaps open the doors of the professional peloton.
The 5th stage, this Monday between Espalion (Aveyron) and Saint-Julien-Chapteuil (Haute-Loire) promises to be one of the most difficult in the event, with 3.139 metres of altitude difference, more than either of the four Savoyard stages that will put the peloton of the Tour de l’Avenir to the test of the high mountain, but over deliberately short distances.