Recovered Staune-Mittet with confidence to Tour de l'Avenir
From 20 to 27 August, the Tour de l'Avenir will take place in France. No less than six riders from the Jumbo-Visma Development Team will be competing in this prestigious U23 nations race. Johannes Staune-Mittet, who has recovered from illness, is one of them and is looking forward to the eight-day stage race with Head of Development Robbert de Groot.
"I'm going to France with a good feeling”, says Staune-Mittet. The day after his first professional victory, the 21-year-old Norwegian withdrew from the Czech Tour due to illness, but he is in excellent shape again. "I struggled for about a week, but after that, I was able to prepare well for the Tour de l'Avenir. Unfortunately, I had to miss the world championships. However, there is no reason to worry about my form. I am looking forward to the race. My season has been very successful, and I am hungry for more success.”
"If I can be on top of my game in the mountain stages, then hopefully, I can fight for the win."
Staune-Mittet, who finished second in last year's Tour de l'Avenir, sees it as an advantage that the race starts with two sprint stages. "It works well for me. You have to stay out of trouble, of course, but it lets you settle into a rhythm. On day three, we have to do a strong team time trial. Then the main focus will come."
The Giro Next Gen winner refers to the final weekend, which features three challenging mountain stages. The seventh stage, in particular, will be of interest to Staune-Mittet. The stage consists of two parts: an 11-kilometre individual climbing time trial and a short mountain stage later in the day. "It will be a significant test. A day like this is mentally tougher than physically. If I can be on top of my game in the mountain stages, then hopefully, I can fight for the win”, he says.
"I think this race, along with the Giro Next Gen and the world championships, has one of the strongest fields on the U23 circuit”, De Groot adds. "If you want to win, you have to deliver quality. It is a challenging route. The stages are generally relatively short. As a result, the riders will ride harder. Ultimately, the accumulation of stages and fatigue will make the difference in the general classification.”
De Groot is proud that the Development Team has many riders at the start and anticipates excellent results. "Norway and the Netherlands are bringing strong riders for the GC with Johannes and Tijmen Graat. I also expect to see Loe van Belle, Jesse Kramer (Netherlands), Colby Simmons (USA) and Per Strand Hagenes (Norway) in the finals at the start of the stage race. Archie Ryan (Ireland) has not raced for almost a year. In his situation, the key concern is how he will handle the succession of stages. With his talent, he should be able to go far in the most demanding stages. It will be a great race to watch.”