Belgium’s Yannick Eijssen took the stage win and the yellow jersey on the Tour de l’Avenir’s Col du Béal on Wednesday, while American Andrew Talansky rode an aggressive race to finish third and signal that he will be an overall threat at the race.
The 157-kilometer race from Saint Pourçain sur Sioule to the Col du Béal included the category 2 Col du Sansert and the cat. 1 finish climb.
An early breakaway of five riders including the Australian Ben King gained a three-minute advantage, but the American team, working to set up Talansky and the British team, working to protect overnight leader Alex Dowsett, brought the group back on the Sansert. Talansky was the third rider over the top of the penultimate climb (he is now tied with two others for second in the KOM competition, 2 points behind Dutchman Bert Jan Lendeman).
Ejissen attacked on the descent of the Sansert, opening a 45-second gap on a small chase group and nearly a minute and a half on the peloton. On the final climb Talansky caught two Colombians who had set out after Ejissen and took third on the day, 26 seconds behind Ejissen.
Talansksy is now 10th on GC at 1:35.
Eijissen said he had planned to attack on the descent because he knew the Colombian climbers would be hard to drop on the finish climb.
“This is a first interesting step towards the final victory,” Eijissen said. “But it’s not over, far from it .. the Colombians and Talansky seem determined to fight till the end. ”
- 1. Yannick Eijssen, Belgique, in 4h 11′ 48″
- 2. Darwin Atapuma, Colombie, at 00:21
- 3. Andrew Talansky, Etats-Unis, at 00:26
- 4. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez, Colombie, at 00:33
- 5. Jelte Slagter Tom, Pays-Bas, at 00:56