The 10-stage Tour de l’Avenir is one of the biggest showcases for U23 riders, where the stars of tomorrow often emerge. Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogačar are just two of the most recent examples of high profile talents to win the race, and a certain American named Greg LeMond also makes an entry on the star-studded list of winners.
This year, a US national team featuring six of the most promising American riders has been competing in the French race. The squad has seen more than its fair share of bad luck so far, with Finn Gullickson and Jared Scott heading home early with a broken collarbone and fractured wrist.
But despite the setbacks, the remaining four riders on the squad have put up an admirable fight, pulling together a gutsy team time trial where they had no riders to spare, and a pair of top-10 finishes for sprinter Luke Lamperti.
We got a look at the bikes each rider is competing on, including Lamperti’s Specialized Tarmac, Gabriel Shipley and Cooper Johnson’s Cannondale SuperSix Evos, and Matthew Riccitello‘s Factor Ostro Vam.
Luke Lamperti’s Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 Trinity Racing team bike, complete with Zipp 454 NSW wheels.
A sprinter, the two-time American national crit champion pushes a big 54/41T gear up front.
Lamperti had all the important stage info taped to his stem.
The marbled blue and black frame design is one of the coolest out there, especially for a non-WorldTour team.
Lamperti sits on a 3D printed Specialized Mirror saddle.
Gabriel Shipley’s neon Cannondale SuperSix Evo catches the attention.
It’s older generation, though still excellent, 11-speed Dura-Ace components for the U23 rider. He’s riding a 52/36 crankset.
Wider tires are becoming the norm. Shipley is racing on 28c Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tires.
Matthew Riccitello had hoped to put up a good GC fight on this Factor Ostro Vam, but was caught behind one of the many crashes this race. He’s six minutes back.
He was running 54/39 aero Rotor cranks.
Riccitello’s one-piece Black Inc. bar/stem was set up with older generation 11-speed Shimano Di2 shifters.
Cooper Johnson’s Cannondale SuperSix Evo. Both Johnson and Shipley have standard bar/stems instead of Cannondale’s stock integrated cockpit. It’s similar to the setup that the Cannondale sponsored EF Education team uses.
The Selle SMP F20 saddle, which strikes a similar profile to the supersonic Concorde jet, is something we don’t see too often. Being pushed all the way back makes for a distinct, aggressive look to the overall bike setup
Johnson, who rides for Aevolo, is the U23 US national champion.
Johnson runs 52/36T chainrings.