U23 races and talents

May 10, 2015
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I asked in another thread if there already was a thread to discuss U23 races & promising talents. No answer so I decided to make one. I think it's better to have one big thread instead of making several threads for future races or promising talents cause it's not like a lot of posts will be made about these races.

We're already halfway the season so a lot of big and important races are already done. We saw some dominance of the American/Axeon boys with stunning performances from the 18 year old Adrien Costa (1997) in the Tour of Flanders and in France, from Neilson Powless (1996) on his home grounds (what a ride he did in California) and from Logan Owen (1995) who won L-B-L this year. In the same L-B-L we saw Brit James Shaw (1996, LTS) showing his potential for one of the first times in his u23 career and a new upcoming Russian star, Pavel Sivakov (1997, BMC). He came second which is pretty impressive (but not surprising after his junior wins) for someone who is in his first year as a u23 rider. Sivakov was ready to take over the cobbles in Roubaix too, but he was stopped by a puncture in the final kilometers. That Paris-Roubaix was finally won by Filippo Ganna (1996) after an impressive solo. He will be a neo-pro next year as he signed for Lampre. The ZLM Roompot Tour was dominated by the Norwegians and the first real tests in the French mountains by Lennard Hofstede (1994, Rabo) and Bjorg Lambrecht (1997, LTS). Ofcourse, I'm forgetting a lot of interesting results so feel free to fill in. As you can see I'm following the European races in particular. I don't know a lot about the upcoming South American guys.



 
May 10, 2015
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Today the Course de la Paix / Zavod Miru U23, the 6th race of the Nations Cup, came to an end. The race consists out of 3 stages. Last year’s editions was won by Mühlberger, who’s now a proud member of Bora Argon. He held off Loic Vliegen (BMC), Eiking (FDJ), De Plus (EQS) & Moscon (Sky). It doesn’t necessarily have the toughest climbs, but it’s always an interesting race thanks to the strong field.

The first stage was just like last year a stage for the sprinters. The Austrian Daniel Auer won the stage, just in front of Olieslagers (NED). However, the most remarkable event of the stage was not the finish but the struggle of Adrien Costa, who started as one of the big favorites. He felt sick and lost 8 minutes.

The second stage exploded on the final climb, the ‘Dloehe Strane’. A climb that starts off pretty easy, but after 5km the gradient goes up to 10% (max. 20%). On these steep ramps a group of 4 riders took off. The group consisted out of Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR), Edward Ravasi (ITA), David Gaudu (FRA) and Kilian Frankiny (SWI). Finally, it was the tiny David Gaudu who won solo after attacking 500m before the finish. I heard from some riders there that he was pretty impressive. He’s only 19 years old (1996) and has a brutal acceleration. He already showed his climbing capabilities in the first stage of the Ronde de l’Isard where he was beaten by the surprisingly strong Bjorg Lambrecht (who came 7th on Dlouhe Strane). Geoghegan Hart came 2nd and Frankiny 3rd on Dlouhe Strane.

The third stage was an exact copy of last year’s third stage (won by Loic Vliegen), a hilly stage ending on a 2,5km (6,5%) climb. Czech rider Michal Schlegel, who was riding on his home grounds, tried to win the GC by going in an early attack. However, the French team didn’t let that happen and his break was caught with 8km to go. On the last climb young Belgian Bjorg Lambrecht was strong again and came in solo 3” in front of a group with leader Gaudu and first chasers Geoghegan Hart & Frankiny. So no problem for the young Frenchman who won the GC. An impressive results if you ask me.

GC:
1 GAUDU David (FRA)
2 GEOGHEGAN Hart Tao (GBR) 11.00
3 FRANKINY Kilian (SWI) 14.00
4 LAMBRECHT Bjorg (BEL) 16.00
5 RAVASI Edward (ITA) 18.00
6 KNOX James (GBR) 24.00
7 CARBONI Giovanni (ITA) 25.00
8 CRAS Steff (BEL) 35.00
9 CHERKASOV Nikolay (RUS) 38.00
10 HOELGAARD Markus (NOR) 47.00



 
We had a U23 racing thread before but I wasn't able to find it lately. The search system here doesn't help, either.

Anyway, I'm really impressed by Lambrecht. His Isard win came a bit by surprise and was overshadowed by lack of competition in the race, but this here is on another level. He could be one of those rare riders who translate junior excellence directly into U23 dominance.

A lot of disappointment at the Peace Race as well: Hofstede, Kämna, Samitier, Garcia Cortina - I expected more from them.
 
May 10, 2015
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Bye Bye Bicycle said:
We had a U23 racing thread before but I wasn't able to find it lately. The search system here doesn't help, either.

Anyway, I'm really impressed by Lambrecht. His Isard win came a bit by surprise and was overshadowed by lack of competition in the race, but this here is on another level. He could be one of those rare riders who translate junior excellence directly into U23 dominance.

A lot of disappointment at the Peace Race as well: Hofstede, Kämna, Samitier, Garcia Cortina - I expected more from them.
Yeah, I tried searching the thread but didn' find anything.

Lambrechts win in the Ronde de l'Isard was a surprise for me too. The competition wasn't too strong, but Gaudu, Knox, Pearson and Carboni were there. That's not bad at all. He has beaten them all in that first stage and only struggled in the last stage on the last climb. Pretty impressive for a first year u23 rider who had never climbed a real mountain in a race before.

And on your last paragraph: Hofstede had some asthma problems. Kamna was for me the biggest disappointment. Not sure what was wrong with him, expected so much more.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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I'm also a bit dssapointed about Kämna, but his big goals are the Österreich-Rundfahrt and/or the Tour de l'Avenir, so maybe he just had a slow start.
Hopefully he won't be another Silvio Herkloz,, a first (and 2nd) year as an U23 rider and then rather disappointing (you have to say that Silvio had to deal with lots of pressure and really high expectations, he was already hyped as the next Ullrich when he had just turned 18 and his trainers said that he had the same lab values as a young Ullrich).
 
Jul 29, 2015
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Well, Herklotz had to deal with many injuries and sicknesses. It might take him this season to get back to his former shape.
Kämna meanwhile seems to be on the right path, he had a relatively slow start into 2015 as well. Stölting does a nice job keeping pressure and the spotlight away from him, imo.

Some other riders who deserve a mention:

Dion Smith, although he's no longer a U23 rider. He gets so consistent results in every race he does, it's just sick.

Lucas/Chris Hamilton and the Scotson bros. Will be interesting to see how much they've left, Aussies tend to reach their full potential quite early.

Daniel Whitehorse. Does well in Asia, would be surprised if no PCT team signed him for 2017.

Samuel Mugisha. Has the engine in the lab but has yet to show that on the road.
 
Nov 1, 2015
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The Lotto duo of Lambrecht and Steff Crass are doing really well in the last few races, but I wonder if the Lotto WT team will already add them to their roster next year or the year after.
 
Ganna is the real deal. I thought Sky would try to sign him after the promising signs they got from Moscon. Instead he's going to Lampre which worries me a bit, considering how bad they've been on the cobbles in the past few years.
 
May 10, 2015
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BalearicBeats said:
The Lotto duo of Lambrecht and Steff Crass are doing really well in the last few races, but I wonder if the Lotto WT team will already add them to their roster next year or the year after.
Don't think that they are even considering making them pro's already. Lambrecht is just too young. Yes he's good, but another year in the U23 ranks where he can try to win some bigger races (cause I don't think he's ready to compete with the best in races like Tour de l'Avenir) wouldn't hurt. Steff is a year older but needs to start winning races or at least podium them before becoming a pro. He's following a similir path to that from Louis Vervaeke, so an extra year wouldn't hurt him either. I think Lotto wil give some older guys a chance later this year as a trainee and see if they are good enough to be a pro in their team next year. Let's see what these two can do in the Savoie next week. I'm thinking of Joachim Vanreyten who did pretty well this year (won a crit against Boonen and Vanmarcke) or guys like Edward Planckaert who did well in Paris-Roubaix (I think you know him right? ;) ) and who knows James Shaw who did great in Liege, Fleche Ardennaise and some smaller stage races.

The Lotto u23 climber story is actually pretty funny. First they had Vervaeke with De Plus as a domestic, next they had De Plus as their leader and Cras as a domestic en now Cras was supposed to be their leader with Lambrecht and/or Vanhoecke (who's doing good too for a first year). It must hurt that Lambrecht overtook him right away.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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SafeBet said:
Ganna is the real deal. I thought Sky would try to sign him after the promising signs they got from Moscon. Instead he's going to Lampre which worries me a bit, considering how bad they've been on the cobbles in the past few years.
He already had signed a contract with Lampre when Sky tried to sign him after the Track WC.
 
Another rider to have impressed this season is Mads Pedersen, however he hasn't ridden a lot of U23 races this year. In Driedaagse de Panne-Koksijde he was really, really impressive and he maybe would have been able to follow Kristoff, Westra, Lutsenko and Rowe if not for lack of experience. He was clearly the strongest on the stage after these 4 riders.

He won Gent-Wevelgem U23 and was in a great position to repeat his performance in RVV Beloften if he hadn't crashed out. Recently beat Luis Mas Bonet in quite a tough, hilly stage in Tour of Norway to take the win from the break.

He is a great prospect for the cobbles especially but can also go well on hills and is a decent time trials as well (17th in de Panne tt for example). There has been some rumours linking him to AG2R and I believe its safe to say he will be riding in a WT team next year.
 
May 10, 2015
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The route of the Tour de l'Avenir 2016, "the biggest U23 race of the year", was announced today. Bumpy sprint stages, a TT and short, but hard mountain stages. Love it, the TT will make it more interesting.















 
Re: Re:

Wallenquist said:
DNP-Old said:
Lizarte has been invited for Giro Valle d'Aosta in July. Would be a nice addition to Carapaz' list of career achievements.
He's too old :)
Only riders born between 1994 and 1997 can participate in 2.2U events.
Really? Well, sh*t. Thought riders were still eligible at 23.
 
May 10, 2015
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Thursday the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc, one of the more mountainous races for the u23 riders begins. A mountain top finish in La Feclaz, a hard TT and a stage over 3 cols (the last one is the Col de la Colombière) are probably gonna decide the GC. Last year Belda won ahead of Oomen. It's always an interesting race to follow cause it's one of the races where you can see u23 riders compete with some pros (Brun, Brice Feillu, C.A. Sorensen, Antomarchi, ...). Some riders to keep an eye on are Costa, Gheogegen Hart, Guerreiro, Paret-Peintre, Peters, Rochas, Vincent, Frankiny, Hofstede, Mas, Schlegel, Cras, Lambrecht, Vanhoecke, ...
 
So this is a cat.2 climb:



The inclusion of the oft-overlooked Col du Pré is the best thing about the l'Avenir route for me, should mean some very tired legs before Tignes, which in and of itself isn't a great climb but after that should cause some trouble. But the last stage, I mean, 72km? Jesus wept. The Valmeinier stage is nice, though.
 
Here's an interesting tidbit regarding the Danish team at the Course de la Paix.
Due to monetary issues DCU wasn't even going to send a team, but then some of the Danish Conti teams got together, picked the riders, and then I assume they went around DC HQs to get the National Team kits as having the riders ride around in several different kits would've been rather confusing (and probably also against the rules).
 
May 10, 2015
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Samamba said:
Thursday the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc, one of the more mountainous races for the u23 riders begins. A mountain top finish in La Feclaz, a hard TT and a stage over 3 cols (the last one is the Col de la Colombière) are probably gonna decide the GC. Last year Belda won ahead of Oomen. It's always an interesting race to follow cause it's one of the races where you can see u23 riders compete with some pros (Brun, Brice Feillu, C.A. Sorensen, Antomarchi, ...). Some riders to keep an eye on are Costa, Gheogegen Hart, Guerreiro, Paret-Peintre, Peters, Rochas, Vincent, Frankiny, Hofstede, Mas, Schlegel, Cras, Lambrecht, Vanhoecke, ...
Harm Vanhoucke just won the first big mountain stage in the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc. The Lotto Soudal U23 team has some real talent. Just like Lambrecht, he's only 19 years old (his birthday was today). Leo Vincent (CC Etupes) was 2nd and Bryan Nauleau (Direct Energie) 3rd.

1 Harm Vanhoucke
2 Léo Vincent
3 Bryan Nauleau
4 Patrick Lane
5 Tao Geoghegan Hart
6 Steff Cras
7 Lucas Papillon
8 Rémy Rochas
9 Ben O'Connor MT
10 Kilian Frankiny
11 Aurélien Paret-Peintre
12 Chris Anker Sorensen
13 Jhonnatan Manuel Narvaez
14 Romain Campistrous
15 Lennard Hofstede
16 Bjorg Lambrecht
17 Jan Maas
18 Alexis Guérin
19 Romain Seigle
20 Robbie Hucker
 
Narvaez only 19th in the rather short ITT in Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc, which is a disappointment considering he holds the world record in the 3k individual pursuit. Costa won, Mas new leader.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Giovanni Carboni seems to be an interesting prospect, 20 years old (born in 1995) and riding for Unieuro Wilier.
This year he finished 7th in the Course de la Paix U23, 6th in Ronde de l'Isard, 6th in the Tour d'Azerbaïdjan ahead of well seasoned pros like Bruno Pires and Jan Barta and 13th in the Tour of Turkey.
He also seems be decent in hilly TTs, last year he finished 2nd in the U23 NC 7 seconds behind Martinelli and 10th in the Road European Championships U23 - ITT (he was only the 3rd best Italian rider, the even younger Edoardo Affini, born in 1996, finished 5th, 19 seconds behind the winner Steven Lammertink and only 1 second behind a world class prospect like Ryan Mullen).
 
May 10, 2015
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DNP-Old said:
Narvaez only 19th in the rather short ITT in Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc, which is a disappointment considering he holds the world record in the 3k individual pursuit. Costa won, Mas new leader.
It was a very hard TT and Narvaez rode on wet roads. It started raining after Costa came in so he was like 5th or 6th of the guys who've ridden in wet conditions. Imo he's doing quite well this week for a 19 year old.
Mas was impressive today. Only 3" behind Costa on wet roads. It looks like he's the strongest in the race, don't think anyone can take that yellow away from him tomorrow, maybe Tao, but I don't think so. Also strange seeing Vanhoucke finish second to last in the TT after he crushed the first big mountain stage yesterday. I wonder what happened to him.
 
May 10, 2015
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Mayomaniac said:
Giovanni Carboni seems to be an interesting prospect, 20 years old (born in 1995) and riding for Unieuro Wilier.
This year he finished 7th in the Course de la Paix U23, 6th in Ronde de l'Isard, 6th in the Tour d'Azerbaïdjan ahead of well seasoned pros like Bruno Pires and Jan Barta and 13th in the Tour of Turkey.
He also seems be decent in hilly TTs, last year he finished 2nd in the U23 NC 7 seconds behind Martinelli and 10th in the Road European Championships U23 - ITT (he was only the 3rd best Italian rider, the even younger Edoardo Affini, born in 1996, finished 5th, 19 seconds behind the winner Steven Lammertink and only 1 second behind a world class prospect like Ryan Mullen).
Carboni seems like a decent climber who can perform well in a TT. In the Peace Race & in the Ronde de l'Isard he got beaten by some younger guys though (Gaudu & Lambrecht). Let's see what he can do in the Giro Valle d'Aosta.
 
Re: Re:

Samamba said:
DNP-Old said:
Narvaez only 19th in the rather short ITT in Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc, which is a disappointment considering he holds the world record in the 3k individual pursuit. Costa won, Mas new leader.
It was a very hard TT and Narvaez rode on wet roads. It started raining after Costa came in so he was like 5th or 6th of the guys who've ridden in wet conditions. Imo he's doing quite well this week for a 19 year old.
Mas was impressive today. Only 3" behind Costa on wet roads. It looks like he's the strongest in the race, don't think anyone can take that yellow away from him tomorrow, maybe Tao, but I don't think so. Also strange seeing Vanhoucke finish second to last in the TT after he crushed the first big mountain stage yesterday. I wonder what happened to him.
Thanks for the clarification. :)
 

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