Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tour de l'Avenir Team Preview: Poland & Portugal


Roster: Mateusz Grabis, Jakub Kaczmarek, Michal Paluta, Arkadiusz Owsian, Patryk Stosz and Gracjan Szelag

So Poland...Poland, Poland, Poland. They have 6 riders. They are U23s. Stosz like to go for KOMs so why not have a shot here? Paluta is pretty good. I'm more surprised at who they left home like Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz, Kacper Gronkiewicz or Piotr Konwa. Nothing else to say here.


Roster: Rui Carvalho, Gaspar Goncalves, Luis Gomes, Ruben Guerreiro, Cesar Martingil and Nuno Bico

The star here is Ruben Guerreiro, the Axeon rider who won the Volta a Portugal ao Futuro and finished 14th in the Tour de l'Avenir last year. This year, he won the GP Liberty Seguros, finished 10th in the Tour de Beauce and most recently, finished top 10 in two stages of the Tour of Utah. Guerreiro is shaping up to be a good pick for the top 10 overall but can his team support him?

Rui Carvalho won a hilltop finish in the Volta a Portugal ao Futuro this year. Goncalves has a good TT motor on him. Gomes won the final stage of Futuro in a solo, uphill finish. Martingil is a good all-arounder. Nuno Bico is the current U23 RR Champ and slogged it through the Volta a Portugal so if done right, he must be coming in hot for l'Avenir.

So do they have a team that could protect Guerreiro's GC ambitions? Yes. Now we see how far Guerreiro can go.

Prediction: Guerreiro goes somewhere 8th-10th on GC

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