USA ready for World Under-23 title fight after positive Avenir tour
Peter Stetina said that he and his USA teammates are ready for an aggressive World Championship Under-23 road race Saturday in Mendrisio, Switzerland. The team is encouraged by its success in the Tour de l'Avenir earlier this month.
"The final day of l'Avenir was a good practice race for the Worlds," Stetina told Cyclingnews. "It was a circuit on narrow roads and with two climbs, a really nervous day. We will be ready for an aggressive race Saturday."
Stetina finished seventh overall in l'Avenir and his teammate Tejay Van Garderen five spots better in second. Chris Barton finished the final Besançon stage third and Alex Howes ninth.
"We have the strongest team ever here, we were all going good at Avenir," continued Stetina. "Tejay and I were still there on the climbs in Avenir when every other team only had one rider left."
They face a technical 13.8-kilometre Worlds circuit. The U23 riders will race it 13 times for 179.4 kilometres and 3185 metres of climbing.
France, Italy and Colombia should all be favourites for the win, and Denmark, Netherlands and Germany are the best-organised teams for controlling the race, he said.
"USA wants to stay at the front of the race from the start and never fall behind."
It will be Stetina's last Under-23 World Championships. Stetina, 22, will step up to top-level team Garmin-Slipstream next year after spending this season in the team's developmental ranks. He expects team manager Jonathan Vaughters will start him in stage races suited to climbers and he hopes to start his first Grand Tour next year.
"It could probably be the Giro or the Vuelta, I would like to do the Tour, though."
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