Fernandez triumphs at U-23 Tour de l’Avenir

The Spaniard claims victory in France by 55 seconds over Great Britain's Adam Yates

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Ruben Fernandez (Spain) clinched the overall victory at the Tour de l’Avenir over the weekend, an eight-day race in the eastern half of France for riders 23 years old and younger.

Translated to “Tour of the Future,” the race concluded with the 135.2-kilometer stage 7 from Châtel to Plateau des Glières on Saturday. Fernandez, who won stage 4 and took the overall lead that day, held onto his advantage over the next three days to secure the victory.

Adam Yates (Great Britain) finished second overall at 55 seconds back, while Patrick Konrad (Austria) took third at 1:07.

Riding to victory in the mountainous seventh stage, which ended with a summit finish, was France’s Julian Alaphilippe. Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) was 51 seconds back in second, while Yates was 1:39 behind in third.

Riders compete for their national teams instead of their professional teams at the race, which is the last event in the eight-race U-23 Nation’s Cup series.

The top-placing American at the Tour de l’Avenir was Gavin Mannion, who was 3:03 behind Fernandez in eighth place. Earlier this season, Mannion finished fifth in the road race at the U.S. Professional Championships and sixth overall at the SRAM Tour of the Gila (while riding for his Bontrager squad).

The only other rider to lead the GC was Alexis Gougeard (France), who won the opening prologue and stayed in the lead through stage 3 before Fernandez took over the next day.

Caleb Ewan (Australia) won stages 1 and 2, Michael Valgren Andersen (Denmark) won stage 3, Fernandez won stage 4, and Yates took stages 5 and 6 before Alaphilippe’s closing victory.

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