Tour de l'Avenir 2022 (August 18-28)

Last year this races thread started with 'Since nobody else has made the thread... prologue is currently underway. '
I am pro-active now... ;-).

The race website with a decent english version.... The roadbook in French only (or can I be corrected here?).

Startlist

A good preview with stage and race info: https://u23cyclingzone.wordpress.com/2022/08/16/2022-tour-de-lavenir-preview/ . If you have other previews, you can add them (Edit: A Dutch one).

I am not going to create a stage overview. Previous link does a good job, and I would just be copy/pasting/stealing others info. But basically the stages start from flat to more and more hilly with an apotheosis in the Alps the 3 last days. Stage 5 is a 28km TTT, between stages 6 and 7 a rest day.

The bad: the prelude today is not broadcasted...
The good: all other stages have a broadcast: stages 1-7 via the race website, youtube and stages 8-9 via GCN+/Eurosport (not sure if you need a payed Eurosport subscription, somebody knows?).

The surprising part for me: 2 Belgians in the favorites...
 
The strange:
  • The prelude today, a 4km TTT doesn't count for the general; it will just give a race leader and the team cars order for the first stage.
  • There are no bonus seconds for the general at the stages (read: I don't find it in the rules of the roadbook). A quick check of last year results on Procyclingstats seems to confirm this was the case last year as well.
  • The rules for the long TTT. Maybe I never read the actual rules for a TTT in a stage race, but they surprise me.
Rules in French:
Article 10 - Contre-la-montre par équipe La 5e étape est disputée sous forme d’un contre-lamontre par équipe Les départs sont donnés de 3’ en 3’ dans l’ordre inverse du classement général par équipes à l’exception de l’équipe du leader du classement général individuel qui partira la dernière. Dès le départ de la première équipe, l’entrainement est interdit sur le parcours. Classement par équipe de l’étape Le classement de l’étape s’établit pour chacune des équipes sur le temps réalisé par le coureur qui franchit la ligne en 4e position. Dans le cas où une équipe ne dispose plus d’au moins 4 coureurs, le temps de l’étape sera déterminé sur le dernier coureur de l’équipe à franchir la ligne d’arrivée. Report des temps au classement général individuel Les temps sont reportés au classement général individuel au temps de la façon suivante : - temps réel pour chacun des coureurs finissant dans le temps du 4e coureur de l’équipe. - temps plafonné à 2 minutes pour l’ensemble des coureurs finissant dans le temps du 4e coureur de l’équipe par rapport à la meilleure équipe, si le temps de l’équipe est supérieur à 2 minutes. - temps réel pour les autres coureurs de l’équipe qui n’arrivent pas avec le 4e coureur de l’équipe, sous réserve de terminer l’étape dans les délais impartis.
What I understand:
  • For the stage result, time of the 4th rider counts
  • For the general, the actual riders time counts*. Here I always thought all riders finishing with or before the 4th rider would get the 4th riders time. I don't read such a rule anywhere. But this would mean if one rider or a small group outperforms their team, they could get a bad team stage result, but a good result for the general.... This sounds strange to me.
  • For the general: For a teams riders finishing within the time of the 4th rider, there is a maximum time loss versus the best team of 2 minutes. I could understand this gives riders in weaker nations not a too big penalty... But it could remain painful for a climber/weak TT rider, losing contact with the other riders of his team: he could loose a lot of time. For example his 'team' finishes with a 3 minutes delay, weak TT rider finishes 10 seconds behind the team: the best riders only loose 2 minutes in the general, the weak TT rider looses 3 minutes 10 seconds in the general.
With my interpretation there will be a complex choice between riding for a good general (with for example the 3 best ITT riders)* or going for a good team stage result with 4 riders or keeping the team together so all riders don't lose more than 2 minutes in the general.

* This is the part in the rules that confuse me:
Les temps sont reportés au classement général individuel au temps de la façon suivante : - temps réel pour chacun des coureurs finissant dans le temps du 4e coureur de l’équipe.
I translate this as:
The time results are moved to the general individual classification in the following way: - Real time for each rider finishing in the time of the 4th rider of the team.
I understand that if you finish before the 4th rider you get your own time. I would have expected: Real time of the 4th rider of the team for each rider.... (to indicate you cannot do better than the teams result). The wikipedia page at least explains how I would understand it. Is this just a bad explanation in the race rules?
 
I don't know who thought that putting 2 TTTs in a race where the teams consist of riders who don't usually train together is a good idea. And it's national teams so it's not even publicity for sponsors. And one almost doesn't count for anything. Such a weird race this year.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
The strange:
  • The prelude today, a 4km TTT doesn't count for the general; it will just give a race leader and the team cars order for the first stage.
  • There are no bonus seconds for the general at the stages (read: I don't find it in the rules of the roadbook). A quick check of last year results on Procyclingstats seems to confirm this was the case last year as well.
  • The rules for the long TTT. Maybe I never read the actual rules for a TTT in a stage race, but they surprise me.
Rules in French:

What I understand:
  • For the stage result, time of the 4th rider counts
  • For the general, the actual riders time counts*. Here I always thought all riders finishing with or before the 4th rider would get the 4th riders time. I don't read such a rule anywhere. But this would mean if one rider or a small group outperforms their team, they could get a bad team stage result, but a good result for the general.... This sounds strange to me.
  • For the general: For a teams riders finishing within the time of the 4th rider, there is a maximum time loss versus the best team of 2 minutes. I could understand this gives riders in weaker nations not a too big penalty... But it could remain painful for a climber/weak TT rider, losing contact with the other riders of his team: he could loose a lot of time. For example his 'team' finishes with a 3 minutes delay, weak TT rider finishes 10 seconds behind the team: the best riders only loose 2 minutes in the general, the weak TT rider looses 3 minutes 10 seconds in the general.
With my interpretation there will be a complex choice between riding for a good general (with for example the 3 best ITT riders)* or going for a good team stage result with 4 riders or keeping the team together so all riders don't lose more than 2 minutes in the general.

* This is the part in the rules that confuse me:
I translate this as:
I understand that if you finish before the 4th rider you get your own time. I would have expected: Real time of the 4th rider of the team for each rider.... (to indicate you cannot do better than the teams result). The wikipedia page at least explains how I would understand it. Is this just a bad explanation in the race rules?
I'm sure it means that everyone (or at least those who finishes 1-3) gets the time of the fourth rider, not that they get their own individual times. I doubt any team would drop their fourth rider on purpose anyway.

Also if they expect their climbers to get good results, they wouldn't drop them and risk them losing more than two minutes either.
 
Reactions: Walter1234
I don't know who thought that putting 2 TTTs in a race where the teams consist of riders who don't usually train together is a good idea. And it's national teams so it's not even publicity for sponsors. And one almost doesn't count for anything. Such a weird race this year.
I have the impression it is more because an ITT is more difficult to organise. In the sense you block the roads for less time for a TTT than a ITT.
Cfr. this year's Giro U23 where the organizers didn't find a track where they could block the road long enough for an ITT. Same reason I think in pro racing the ITTs are often relatively short (like max 15km).
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Two TTTs is completly nonsense, especially as the first doesn't do anything, what a waste of time.

I do understand the rules of the second TTT tho, it stops GC climbers simply dropping out of their train halfway through and just roll in because they'd be given the same time anyway. And the two minutes rule is fine as well to limit losses of GC candidates from a weak nation.
Stage 6 looks fantastic.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I will never be a fan of TTTs in important u23 races, but it has indeed to do with a TT being too complicated to organize. Anyways, at the end of the week the differences on GC will be huge anyways so the TTT probably won't matter. Maybe someone wins because of the TTT (for example Uijtdebroecks over Martinez but let's be honest Martinez would lose more than 2 minutes in a normal TT), but what does it matter. It's not like everyone just looks at who wins this race every year. I don't know who of the favorites should be really mad that it's a TTT tbh. I expect the Belgians to win some time in it, but both Uijtdebroecks and Van Eetvelt would win time in an ITT too.
 
.... Maybe someone wins because of the TTT (for example Uijtdebroecks over Martinez but let's be honest Martinez would lose more than 2 minutes in a normal TT), but what does it matter. It's not like everyone just looks at who wins this race every year. I don't know who of the favorites should be really mad that it's a TTT tbh. I expect the Belgians to win some time in it, but both Uijtdebroecks and Van Eetvelt would win time in an ITT too.
Martinez was 5th in the France NC ITT U23, less than a minute behind the winner. That is not that bad. He should be good enough to stay in the team during the TTT or at least not have his team loose a lot of time. I fear more for the Belgian team loosing Lecerf early and give away his chance for a good GC or having to wait for him.

Walter
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Martinez was 5th in the France NC ITT U23, less than a minute behind the winner. That is not that bad. He should be good enough to stay in the team during the TTT or at least not have his team loose a lot of time. I fear more for the Belgian team loosing Lecerf early and give away his chance for a good GC or having to wait for him.

Walter
Why would Belgium wait for Lecerf lol? Belgium has 2 leaders, Uijtdebroecks en Van Eetvelt, Lecerf is in the selection to work for them, not for a GC.
 
Rather weak Italian team.
No Germani, no Frigo, no Raccani, no Ciuccarelli, no de Pretto and no Buratti (who won the last 2 italian one day races against a decent field, Reuben Thompson finished top 5 in both of them)
Piganzoli should be the team leader, him and Milesi are good riders for the TTT. Bruttomesso is here for the sprints and could also help in the TTT, Alessio Martinelli has been bad since May and Fancellu is a wildcard but 12th place in the Tour de l'Ain is solid and unlike all the guys on the Italian teams he has actually a few race days over the last month.
Most of them only have 1 or 2 days of racing since mid July, so they might struggle a bit to find their legs.

Garofoli also only started racimg again recently because of his heart related problems, so he wasn't an option either.

If the TTT was an Itt I'd actually really like the route. The mountain stages are in the right order and 3 consecutive ones should be a test of endurance and recovery.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan and Lui98
Why would Belgium wait for Lecerf lol? Belgium has 2 leaders, Uijtdebroecks en Van Eetvelt, Lecerf is in the selection to work for them, not for a GC.
I wonder if he can work; I think lecerf is good enough to follow uphill. But I don't see him pacing, even uphill. In that sense he is a suprice to me in the selection. But I hope he can suprise me here.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Maybe the first time in quite a while that some contenders can be happy it's a TTT and not an ITT because otherwise they would stand to lose even more time, with some teams dragging one contender down, and some teams making up for another, in the TTT.
Yeah, that's true.
Still, the need to have a TTT in a u23 stage race with national teams from all around the world has always rubbed me the wrong way.
 

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