The Irish team for the upcoming Tour de l’Avenir stage race running from August 18th-27th has been named. Daire Feeley, Darragh O’Mahony, Mark Downey, Michael O’Loughlin, Matthew Teggart and Ryan Reilly are the six riders who will line up in the final event of the U23 UCI Nations’ Cup and the team will be managed by Neil Martin.

The 1201-kilometre Tour de l’Avenir starts in Loudéac in Brittany and travels across the country, finishing with two mountainous stages in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region.

Teams from South Africa, Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, United States, France, Great-Britain, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic, Russia and Switzerland will also line up in addition to the French regional teams Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Brittany.

The race was created in 1961 and since its inception, some of the biggest names in the sport have taken the overall win including Felice Gimondi (1964), Joop Zoetemelk (1969), Greg Lemond (1982), Miguel Indurain (1986), Laurent Fignon (1988) and Nairo Quintana (2010)

Irish riders have taken two stage victories in the race in its history. Stephen Roche won stage 7 in the 1981 race, a 21-kilometre time-trial in Saint-Laurent-du-Pont before going onto finish 6th overall. In 2006, Nicolas Roche won the 147-kilometre fourth stage from Yutz Haute to Metz.

Other Irish riders came close to success over the years at the race including Mark Scanlon who finished 2nd on a stage in 2005 and Peter Crinnion who finished 7th in the second edition of the race in 1962, which was won by Antonio Gómez Del Moral of Spain.

The nine-stage race offers a great opportunity for riders to impress and it’s a measure of the success of the Irish U23 team this year that they have qualified a team for the race.

Fri 18 August LoudéacLoudéac
Sat 19 August Inzinzac-LochristBignan
Sun 20 August MissillacChâteaubriant
Mon 21 August DervalSaumur
Tue 22 August Montreuil-BellayAmboise
Wed 23 August MontrichardSt-Amand-Montrond
Thu 24 August REST
Fri 25 August St-Gervais Mont-BlancHauteluce-Les Saisies
Sat 26 August AlbertvilleSte-Foy Tarentaise
Sun 27 August Bourg-St-MauriceAlbiez-Montrond


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