Junior racing - The stars of the future

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Mar 13, 2009
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Interesting information - Tom Wirtgen (19, first season on CT level with Leopard Development) won the U23 Luxembourg ITT championship yesterday. His time on the tough 24,6 km parcours was better than that of the pro riders Laurent Didier and Ben Gastauer, which means that if Wirtgen had participated in the elite race, he would have finished 3rd, only 1 minute down on Bob Jungels.

Wirtgen has participated in two OPQS/Etixx training camps, on invitation from Patrick Lefévère.
 
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Bushman said:
Can someone tell me a bit about Brandon Mcnulty? I don't follow the US scene too much, but he has certainly caught my eye. Looks to be an incredible tt'er but also a very good climber?
Ye he has been incredible so far. He is a first year junior but has been dominating in Course de la Paix he won the (short) ITT with a big margin, but he also showed his class in the climbs/hills. He also proved his class in the other races he did this year. For me he has been the best junior so far this year which is pretty amazing for a first year! Certainly one to follow.
 
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Ruudz0r said:
Bushman said:
Can someone tell me a bit about Brandon Mcnulty? I don't follow the US scene too much, but he has certainly caught my eye. Looks to be an incredible tt'er but also a very good climber?
Ye he has been incredible so far. He is a first year junior but has been dominating in Course de la Paix he won the (short) ITT with a big margin, but he also showed his class in the climbs/hills. He also proved his class in the other races he did this year. For me he has been the best junior so far this year which is pretty amazing for a first year! Certainly one to follow.
Yes, he has been dominant so far. He really smashed som tt's and looks easily the best tt'er in the world (in junior) but climbing so well simultaneously is quite outstanding.

Does he come from a track bsckground?
 
Adrien Costa is the best climber in junior category, he's level above the rest. Also he's a great TTer so no wonder that people expect him to be a GT prospect. Personally i believe he's ready for u23 ranks and he's going to be one of the best right from the start like Power and Herklotz did before. I'm pretty sure he's already in contact by few WT teams to acquire him for 2017 or 2018. I made an interview with him a while ago: http://cyclingu19.blogspot.com/2015/05/interview-adrien-costa.html

McNulty on the other hand looks physically matured considering his age. For me, he looks like older brother of Costa ;) No matter what he's amazing talent, probably already top TTer in junior category, good on climbs and hills. He won time trial in Course de la Paix with avg speed over 50km/h. The only rider who was faster on that course was Kwiatkowski in 2008 and he's a first year junior so we can expect him to be better and dominate in 2016, especially once Costa is gone.

US junior team looks like well oiled machine with a big group of talented, best equipped and well prepared riders. I would say the are the best team for now, even better then Danish juniors who usually dominates.
 
Brandon McNulty is a very good all-rounder. However, the climbs in the Peace Race, for example, suited him because they were not particular steep so he could suffer through them and stay at the front. Where he struggle is the very steep climbs where the skinnier guys can accelerate away from him.

The best climbers from 1997 are Adrien Costa, Nicola Conci, Keagan Girdlestone, Ivan Sosa ect ect. Those kind of guys!
 
As we are talking a lot about young riders since Remco emerged, all Junior discussions took place in either his thread or, since he is Pro now, in the U23 thread. So I wanted to resurrect this thread for all talking points concerning Junior racing.
What actually brought me to this is the Tour du Pays de Vaud. It's one of the few really important stage races for juniors and is in financial trouble. They startet a crowdfunding campaign: https://www.ibelieveinyou.ch/ibiy-ch/src/#!/projectdetail/21110/une-epreuve-mythique-un-futur
Lets hope that after P-R for juniors could be saved, thanks to John Degenkolb, this race will also be able to survive.

Btw, it's pretty interesting to read through this thread and compare the expectations that some riders had back in the day to where they are now. Some managed to fulfill those already but most didn't. Just goes to show how different rider development is most of the time.
 
Just went back to the very first page and...

Ruudz0r said:
Pedersen and Eg will probably have good rides in 2013. Other names that could feature in 2013: Van der Poel, Burton, Van Hooydonck, Curran.
Fate would have it that was the "beginning" - it began in the autumn of 2012 - of his weird illness.
Though, he seems to be back.

---

As for being back, in in line with my previous post, wouldn't it be awesome if Girdlestone actually does manage to return?
 
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Wallenquist said:
We had Paris Roubaix for juniors today. Dutchies showed impressive form by taking first and second place. Bram Welten won ahead of Pascal Eenkhoorn. Belgian Stan Dewulf was third and his teammate, Jasper Philipsen was fourth and first from a bigger group.
A couple of years later, Dewulf came back to Roubaix to win it in the U23 category.

I actually didn't know this topic existed. Why doesn't anybody post here anymore?!
 
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
Wallenquist said:
We had Paris Roubaix for juniors today. Dutchies showed impressive form by taking first and second place. Bram Welten won ahead of Pascal Eenkhoorn. Belgian Stan Dewulf was third and his teammate, Jasper Philipsen was fourth and first from a bigger group.
A couple of years later, Dewulf came back to Roubaix to win it in the U23 category.

I actually didn't know this topic existed. Why doesn't anybody post here anymore?!
Ruudz0r and the other guys with a lot of knowledge of the junior scene aren't posting that much anymore. Wallenquist still has his Blog but also with less content than back in the day. If I find the time I'll post something in here after the bigger races but I'm not as good an expert as those guys were.
 
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Logic-is-your-friend said:
RedheadDane said:
It also seems like a lot of people, myself included, simply post Junior stuff in the U23 thread.
Take the discussion about Tobias Lund's somewhat strange victory celebration.
Yes, i did too, but that was because i didn't know this topic even existed. It had 8 pages over the course of 3 years?
I must have known, since I posted in it, but I'd forgotten.
But actually quite interesting that it's been dormant for a while, as it makes going through it an interesting read.

Some who made it big.
Some who faded away.
And some who... well…
 
I'm gonna pull an LS, and say I'm also quite interested in following the progress of Backstedt. Elynor Backstedt (and Zoe for that matter, but she's not quite a junior yet.)

And something else about that first post; quite funny that the first two named would end up being team-mates (and the more "seasoned pro" is almost a year younger.)
 
Today one of the most important Junior stage races starts: the 48th Course de la Paix Juniors. It's a Nations Cup event, so National teams will be at the start. As far as I can see there will be 17 Nations at the start to decide the winner. Obviously, last years race was won by Remco Evenepoel in front of Dane Matias Skjelmose and Norwegian Ludvig Aasheim. Previous winners of this race include Brandon McNulty, Mads Pedersen, Magnus Cort Nielsen or Michal Kwiatkowski.

The race will consist of 4 days of racing with 5 stages. There will be a split stage 2, with a time trial in the morning and a road stage in the afternoon. The decisive stages will most probably be the ITT and the very hilly stage Stage 3 with finish in German town of Altenberg. Stage 2b and stage 4 should go to the sprinters.

Stage 1:


Last year stage one was contested by a select group of the best riders in the race sprinting for the win with German Marius Mayrhofer winning.

So who are the favourites? As always with Junior racing that is hard to tell. Without the UK the strongest Junior team is missing the race. The US team who won 2 of the last 4 editions and would field one of the strongest teams again this year, is also missing and finished their first Euro trip already.
That in mind, the strongest teams here should be Italy, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The highest placed finisher from last years race are Italians Antonio Tiberi and Alessio Martinelli who also have Andrea Piccolo at their side.
Denmark will come with two strong riders in William Blume Levy (winner of RvV juniors) and first year Junior Tobias Lund Andresen (2nd at RvV and winner of E3 after a long solo).
The Netherlands will probably count on Casper van Uden (winner of KBK Juniors and freshly signed to Sunweb Devo for 2020), Axel van der Tuuk or Bodi del Grosso.
Germany will have young sensation Marco Brenner (pretty good classics campaign for a climber) who hasn't had an ideal lead in due to seating problems and Marco Ballerstedt, a good allrounder. Maybe also Michel Heßmann if he can hang on in the hills.
The Belgians have a strong collective without anyone really standing out. Ramses Debruyne and Alex Vandenbulcke may be the strongest but I don't really know.
The French have Hugo Toumire (2nd at Prais-Roubaix), the Czechs will have Karels little brother Matias Vacek (who was a very strong U17 in Italy last season), Norway will probably have someone up there with Sakarias Koller Løland the only one I can see there at the moment. And finally there are a lot of Eastern European wildcards.
 
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WKA311 said:
Today one of the most important Junior stage races starts: the 48th Course de la Paix Juniors. It's a Nations Cup event, so National teams will be at the start. As far as I can see there will be 17 Nations at the start to decide the winner. Obviously, last years race was won by Remco Evenepoel in front of Dane Matias Skjelmose and Norwegian Ludvig Aasheim. Previous winners of this race include Brandon McNulty, Mads Pedersen, Magnus Cort Nielsen or Michal Kwiatkowski.
You don't know? :p
 
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WKA311 said:
Stage 1 sees a French 1-2 with Paris-Roubaix runner up Hugo Toumire winning the hilly stage in front of his compatriot Paul Penhoet and dutch Casper van Uden.
Apparently Toumire won solo with a 16 second lead over a large group of 47 riders. Meaning Penhoët won the sprint for second place.

Tiberi already lost 1m 26s. Del Grosso lost over 2 minutes.
Don't think Martinelli is riding. Actually, i don't know if he's still riding competitively.
Blume Levy, Van Uden, Lund Andresen, Piccolo, Debruyne, van der Tuuk, Brenner, Ballerstedt, Heßmann, Vandenbulcke, Vacek jr, Koller Løland... from your preview, all made the first large group of 47.
 
ITT Top 10:

1 TIBERI Antonio 14:21
2 BALLERSTEDT Maurice 0:09
3 PICCOLO Andrea 0:17
4 LEVY William Blume ,,
5 HESSMANN Michel 0:24
6 VAN UDEN Casper 0:25
7 TOUMIRE Hugo ,,
8 BRENNER Marco 0:27
9 PONOMAR Andrew 0:30
10 STAUNE-MITTET Andreas 0:32

Toumire narrowly holds on to the GC lead in front of Ballerstedt. Tiberi 13 seconds slower than Evenepoel and Skjelmose last year, he lost time yesterday so probably will have it hard to get on the podium.

Stage 2b:


Should go to the sprinters, not sure who actually is a sprinter in this field though. Van Uden is quite quick and Rosner as well but apart from that no idea.
 
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WKA311 said:
Should go to the sprinters, not sure who actually is a sprinter in this field though. Van Uden is quite quick and Rosner as well but apart from that no idea.
Assuming they sprinted for 2nd place in the first stage, it can serve as a point of reference. Penhoët won the sprint ahead of Van Uden in the bunch of 47 riders.
 

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