Devo Wrap: Mannion delivers top-10 result at l'Avenir
As the road season nears the end, riders in the USA Cycling National Development Program (NDP) are in fine form. This was showcased over the last week in France as a group of U23 riders competed in the Tour de l'Avenir and a contingent of women will compete in Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche in France until Sept. 7.
Gavin Mannion (Dedham, Mass./Bontrager Cycling Team) recorded a strong, top-10 finish at the Tour de l'Avenir in France. Mannion finished eighth in the general classification, 3:03 behind the winner, Ruben Fernandez (ESP). Fernandez finished the seven-stage race which spanned Aug. 24-31 in 22:00:31.
Mannion, who was only 20 seconds behind the leader after three stages, surged as high as fourth in the general classification after the fifth stage. A crash during the sixth stage cost Mannion valuable time, but T.J. Eisenhart (Lehi, Utah/BMC Development Team) aided him in protecting his top-10 general classification position.
Eisenhart placed 23rd overall, 7:07 behind Fernandez. Jeffrey Perrin (Lakewood, Colo./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) was the contingent's next rider in the general classification, placing 64th. Greg Daniel (Englewood, Colo./Bontrager Cycling Team) and Stephen Leece (San Luis Obispo, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) finished 72nd and 76th, respectively. Tyler Williams (Shafter, Calif./BMC Development Team) also contested the race.
After stage 1 at the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche, Kristin McGrath (Boise, Idaho/Exergy TWENTY16) is USA Cycling's best-placed rider, sitting in 14th in the general classification while teammate Allison Powers (Pinecliffe, Colo./NOW and Novartis for MS) is not far behind her in 17th.
Additionally, three American women riding for the same trade team are in the top 10 in the general classification following stage 1. The reigning, American road race national champion Jade Wilcoxson (Talent, Ore./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) is in fourth while Janel Holcomb (San Diego, Calif./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Lauren Hall (Dolores, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), who both frequently ride with the NDP, are in fifth and tenth respectively.
Stage one took place on Tuesday after Monday's individual time trial prologue. In the prologue, each of the riders in USA Cycling's contingent were within 22 seconds of Linda Villumsen's (NZL) top time of 3:04. McGrath completed the time trial in 14th place, only nine seconds behind Villumesen while Powers (Pinecliffe, Colo./NOW and Novartis for MS) placed 18th, only 10 seconds behind Villumsen. Maura Kinsella (Santa Clara, Calif./NOW and Novartis for MS) was 13 seconds back, Andrea Dvorak (Crozet, Va./Exergy TWENTY16) was 16 seconds behind. Alexis Ryan (Ventura, Calif./NOW and Novartis for MS) had an 18-second deficit while Scotti Wilborne (Little Rock, Ark./Mellow Mushroom) was 22 seconds back.
The competition in France continues until Sept. 7.
The USA Cycling women's contingent at team presentation at Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche in France. (Left to right: Andrea Dvorak, Scotti Wilborne, Maura Kinsella, Kristin McGrath, Alexis Ryan, Alison Powers. (Photo by Jack Seehafer)
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