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— Tour de l'Avenir (@tourdelavenir) August 23, 2016
After a quiet start to the eight-day Tour de l’Avenir stage race, the U.S. team took first and second in Tuesday’s stage 4 time trial around Lugny, France. Adrien Costa, 19, won the 16.5km test ahead of his teammate Nielson Powless. Costa is coming off of a great ride at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, where he was second in stages 3 and 7 and won the best young rider’s classification.
“I really liked the course, which had a bit of everything: a nice opening climb, some rolling and flat sections, and a little technical part at the finish,” Costa said. “So it was a very complete TT. I didn’t go in expecting to win at all.”
Although they started the season as Axeon Hagens Berman teammates, Costa will ride as a stagiaire for the Belgian powerhouse team Etixx – Quick-Step for the final months of the season. Tour de l’Avenir, however, is contested by national teams. Stage 4 was the first stage victory for an American since Taylor Phinney won the prologue in Vierzon in 2010.
The two Americans faced a formidably talented field in the race’s only time trial stage, including Mads Würtz Schmidt of Denmark, the reigning U-23 world TT champion, and German Lennard Kämna, who was third to Schmidt in Richmond and winner of the junior worlds TT in 2014. “It took a good two hours before the last guy finished, and it was pretty incredible to see so many top U23 time trialists come up short,” Costa added.
Norway’s Amund Jansen kept his overall lead in the prestigious under-23 race, considered the Tour de France of the future, with a 38th-place result. Costa and Powless both moved into the top-10 overall with four days of Alpine climbing stages ahead.
“It is a special occasion for teammates to go 1-2 at the biggest U23 stage race of the year,” Powless said. “Even more so for teammates to have a 1-2-9-10 finish with Adrien, me, Will Barta, and Geoffrey Curran. Today was a big confidence boost for the team and it makes me really excited about the final four stages.”
Stage 4, top 10
1. Adrien Costa (USA), 16.5km in 21:14.56
2. Neilson Powless (USA) at 0:02
3. Jonathan Dibben (GB) at 0:07
4. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Dk) at 0:08
5. Lennard Kämna (G) at 0:09
6. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) at 0:11
7. Filippo Ganna (I) at 0:15
8. Maximilian Schachmann (G) at s.t.
9. William Barta (USA) at 0:18
10. Geoffrey Curran (USA) at 0:21
1. Amund Jansen (N), 11:11:46
2. Nico Denz (G), 0:41.
3. Jonathan Dibben (GB), 1:20.
4. Natan Van Hooydonck (B), 2:21.
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB), s.t.
6. Jan Tschernoster (G), 2:51.
7. Adrien Costa (USA), 2:54.
8. Neilson Powless (USA), 2:56.
9. Vincenzo Albanese (I), 3:02.
10. Lennard Kämna (G), 3:03.