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American Adrien Costa has ridden himself onto the podium at Tour de l’Avenir with one stage remaining. The 19-year-old winner of stage 4 finished sixth in Friday’s stage 7, 1:40 behind the day’s winner, Nick Schultz of Australia. Costa is now third overall, 1:20 behind Frenchman David Gaudu, overall leader.
“I think Adrien, all the guys really, rode with a ton of heart, courage and strength,” said the U.S. team’s coach, Mike Sayers. “We had a team plan, and the guys all contributed to making it work almost flawlessly. Adrian has been a great leader here, and all the guys are working hard to ensure his success.”
Saturday’s final stage is short at 72km, but it includes a category 1 climb of La Toussuire and an hors categorie summit finish on the Col de la Croix-de-Fer. Gaudu won Thursday’s queen stage and is 21 seconds ahead of second place Edward Ravasi of Italy.
The French race is contested by under-23 national team squads, and is considered the most important stage race of the season for young riders.
Stage 7, top 10
1. Nichols Schultz (Aus), 121.1km in 3:33:58
2. David Gaudu (F) at 1:24.
3. Jai Hindley (Aus) at 1:26.
4. Edward Ravasi (I) s.t.
5. Egan Bernal (Col) at 1:30.
6. Adrien Costa (USA) at 1:40.
7. Matteo Fabbro (I) s.t.
8. Lennard Kämna (G) at 2:36.
9. Harm vanhoucke (B) at 2:39.
10. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) at 2:45.
1. David Gaudu (F) in 21:06:35
2. Edward Ravasi (I) at 0:21.
3. Adrien Costa (USA) at 1:20.
4. Harm Vanhoucke (B) at 1:35.
5. Michal Schegel (Cz) at 1:57.
6. Hai Hindley (Aus) at 2:00.
7. Egan Bernal (Col) at 2:14.
8. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) at 3:10.
9. Matteo Fabbro (I) at 4:03.
10. Michael Storer (Aus) at 4:42.