Fred Wright won a reduced sprint finish on stage four of the Tour de l’Avenir 2019 to secure Great Britain’s second victory in four days at the u23 race.
Unfortunately, stage three winner Ethan Hayter crashed in the closing kilometres, breaking his collarbone and abandoning the race, the Brit having also finished second on stage one.
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Six stages remain of the 10-day race, with Tom Pidcock sitting 10th in the overall classification, just over a minute behind Frenchman Simon Gugliemli.
Pidcock finished second behind Hayter on stage three and third behind him on stage one, meaning he sits second in the points classification behind stage one winner Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen.
Stage two’s team time trial saw Great Britain place fifth out of the 26 nations competing, with Jim Brown, Robert Scott and Stuart Balfour lining up alongside Hayter, Pidcock and Wright in the six-man squad.
Lumpy parcours follow on stages five and six, before a day for the climbers on stage seven and then an uphill individual time trial on stage eight. Stage nine features a summit finish to Tignes, where the Tour de France failed to reach on stage 19 this year, before a final big mountain day on stage 10.
At this year’s Baby Giro the GB squad shone, with Ethan Hayter winning the opening prologue and bunch sprint finish on stage one before Matthew Walls made it a hat-trick of victories on stage two. Fred Wright then won stage seven, eventually finishing as the highest placed British rider, coming 15th and 17 minutes down on the winner. He did, however, secure the points classification.
Alongside 20-year-old Tom Pidcock’s victories at the Tour Alsace and the Paris-Roubax u23 race, it’s been a strong year for the British youngsters.
Their good form appears to be paying dividends, as Wright was recently given the opportunity to ride as a stagiaire for WorldTour outfit CCC next season, with British Wiggins – Le Col rider also making the step up to the top tier for 2020 after signing for Movistar.