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Aug 30, 2016 – For more than half a century the Tour de l’Avenir has been known as the Tour de France for the youth. First organized in 1961, it featured national teams from around the world.
Photos and Words by James Startt
Although the race morphed into a sort of pro-am race including elite trade teams in the early 1990’s, for the past 20 years the race has returned its focus on youth. Again exclusively organized by national teams, it is reserved for the world’s best under-23 riders and remains the reference for up-and-coming riders. Recent winners include Bauke Mollema, Nairo Quintana, Esteban Chaves and Warren Barguil, all confirmed champions in the professional ranks today.
This year’s race was one of the most memorable in recent years. In addition to a richly varied terrain that skirted through the Beaujolais wine region into the high Alps, the competition was stellar throughout the week and the Norwegian national team, the US national team and the French national team all came away with multiple wins.