DEVO: U23 Team Develop Skills at Competitive Tour de l’Avenir


Neilson Powless rides in the 2017 Tour de l'Avenir
Neilson Powless finished second atop the Col du Mollard on the final stage of the Tour de l'Avenir.
(August 29, 2017) – The USA Cycling National Development Program’s U23 team fought to the end of the very competitive Tour de l’Avenir in France last week, gaining valuable lessons and experience during the nine-stage race.
“The positive is that in terms of executing the process, it was one of our best races this season,” said U23 Manager Nate Wilson. “The team rode together really well, conserving energy and protecting out leader in the flat stages.”
The final three days of the race were mountain stages which proved to be a tough test for six-man Team USA squad.
“L’Avenir is the most competitive U23 field of the year, even more so than World Championships in my opinion,” added Wilson. “If the riders are a notch below their best, it show immediately, and we paid the price for that.”
Team USA achieved its best result of the race on the final stage, with Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif./Axeon Hagens Berman) finishing second atop the Col du Mollard. Powless was the top American in the GC, finishing 22nd. Egan Arley Bernal (COL) took the win in 29:56:33, followed by Bjorg Lambrecht (BEL) and Niklas Eg (DEN).
Another highlight for Team USA was Justin Oien (Escondido, Calif./Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) being named “most combative” rider on the third stage, a 125-kilometer route from Missillac to Chateaubriant. Oien would finish 81st in the GC.
Other team members included Sean Bennett (El Cerrito, Calif./Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), Will Barta (Boise, Idaho/Axeon Hagens Berman), Ian Garrison (Decatur, Ga./Axeon Hagens Berman), and Stephen Bassett (Knoxville, Tenn./Silber Pro Cycling).
“What I am most proud of is that everyone, from the staff, to the riders, strove to bring their maximum all the way until we crossed the finish on the final stage,” Wilson said. “At the end of the day the results was not what we hoped for, but the attitude and ethos displayed by the team was an excellent culmination of the development this year.”
Wilson also highlighted the exceptional work of Team USA’s mechanics, Jamie Bissell and Tom Campbell, and soigneurs, Patryk Rataczyk and Natalia Berent.
Complete results from Tour de l’Avenir can be found here.

Coming Up
The women’s team will next be in action at the Boels Rental Ladies Tour in Holland, Aug. 29-Sept. 3.
The Juniors will race in the GP Ruebliland in Switzerland, Sept. 1-3.
The U23 squad will contend the Chrono Champanois in France, Sept. 10.
About USA Cycling’s National Development Programs 
USA Cycling’s National Development Programs aim to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition for the United States by providing promising young athletes with a pathway to the top tier of the sport. Our athlete development programs begin with Talent ID Camps and move athletes all the way through to top international competition. Thanks to support from the United States Olympic Committee and to the generous support of our Foundation donors, we’re able to facilitate programs for junior and U23 cyclists in all five discipline of competitive cycling.  If you want to help support the future of American cycling, click here to make a donation now.

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This Article Updated August 29, 2017 @ 04:16 PM For more information contact: