The Tour de l’Avenir will go ahead this summer, with race organisers confirming a six-stage race in the east of France and the Alps between August 14-19.
The Tour de l’Avenir or 'Tour of the Future' is considered the most prestigious race on the under-23 calendar, with recent previous winners including Egan Bernal (2017) Tadej Pogacar (2018) and other riders who have gone on to have successful professional careers and secure major stage race victories.
Tobias Foss of Norway won the 2019 race and joined Jumbo-Visma for 2020. Other winners in the last decade include Colombians Nairo Quintana (2010), Esteban Chaves (2011), Miguel Angel Lopez (2014) and Frenchmen Warren Barguil (2012) and David Gaudu (2016).
The Tour de l’Avenir will be held a week later than usual to fit in with the new rescheduled race calendar. The men's Critérium du Dauphiné will be held in the Alps between August 12-16. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic race organisers said strict measures will be in place to protect the riders and the public.
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The race route has been reduced from ten stages, with the prologue in Charleville- Mézières and the two following stages cancelled. The Tour de l’Avenir Grand Depart will be held on Friday 14th August 2020 in Château-Thierry east of Paris, with the first stage finishing in Bar-sur-Aube after a rolling 175km.
The route will then climb into the Jura mountains on stage to Septmoncel, with an 17.5km mountain time trial on the slopes of the Col de la Faucille close to the Swiss border. The race climbs into the Alps on stage 4 with testing 14.7km climb up to the finish at Saint François Longchamp near Chambery. Stage 5 is short at just 69km but climbs up to La Toussuire, while the Tour de l’Avenir ends with a another mountain stage to Bourg Saint Maurice that climbs the 2,770m-high Col de l'Iseran.
The race will again be open to national teams, offering a huge stage for young riders hoping to turn professional.
"The continuation of the Tour de l’Avenir is a determining factor for the generation of riders under 23 years of age who risked missing the opportunity to show themselves in this very special year and thus dry up the recruitment of the professional sector. The calendar for these young riders is indeed considerably narrowed, and the Tour de l’Avenir is all the more crucial," race organizers Alpes Velo said confirming the race and the route.
Tour de l’Avenir 2020 stages
Stage 1: Château-Thierry (Aisne) - Bar-sur-Aube (Aube) (168 km)
Stage 2: Champagnole (Jura) - Septmoncel (Jura) (137.8 km)
Stage 3: Divonne-les-Bains (Ain) - Col de la Faucille (Ain) (17.5 km ITT)
Stage 4: Saint-Vulbas (Ain) - Saint-François-Longchamp (Savoie) (193 km)
Stage 5: La Tour-en-Maurienne (Savoie) - La Toussuire (Savoie) (69 km)
Stage 6: Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne (Savoie) - Bourg-Saint-Maurice/Les Arcs 1800 Savoie) (134km).