Snowfall on the Col de la Madeleine has forced race organisers to reduce Friday’s fifth stage of the Tour de l’Avenir to just 44 kilometres. The shortened stage is set to get underway at 3pm local time.
The penultimate stage was initially slated to be 130 kilometres in distance, bringing the peloton from Valloire over the crest of the Col du Télégraphe and over the Col de la Madeleine before a summit finish at Les Saisies.
The changes mean that the peloton will cover only the final 44 kilometres of the original parcours, skipping the Madeleine. The stage will instead begin from Rognaix and feature a short run-in ahead of the haul to the finish atop the first category climb of Les Saisies.
The Col de la Madeleine has not featured on the route of the Tour de l’Avenir since 1998, when Texma Del Olmo led over the summit on the final stage to Courchevel, which was eventually won by overall winner Christophe Rinero.
France’s Warren Barguil leads the race overall after he took stage victory over the Col du Télégraphe on Thursday. With two stages still to race, he has a lead of just one second over Juan Ernest Chamorro (Colombia) and only 25 seconds separate the top 10 riders on general classification.