The 21-year-old Frenchman had a spell at Ag2r as a stagiaire in 2013 but this is his first full season as a professional and on Saturday he secured a first victory on home roads on the fourth and final stage of the Tour de L’Ain. Latour attacked on the penultimate climb of the day in the Jura mountains, taking Fabrice Jeandesboz for company before striking out for victory on the uphill finish to Lélex-Mont Jura.
It comes as a breakthrough in what has already been a hugely encouraging year, which has seen Latour finish fifth overall at the Route du Sud behind none other than Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana, seventh at the Tour of Austria and fifth at the recent Vuelta a Burgos.
"It really feels great. I had been going close for quite a while. I didn’t know how I was going to recover from Burgos, where I put in a lot of effort. And now I’ve won at the Tour de l’Ain, a race in this region. This race is close to my heart and that of the team. Yesterday I was disappointed, that’s normal, but today I’m really happy to win," said Latour on the Ag2r-La Mondiale team website.
"I am really happy with my results this season, even if the significance of them hasn’t completely sunk in."
Their significance doesn't seem to have been missed by directeur sportif Julien Jurdie, who was gushing in his praise for his 21-year-old prodigy.
"Pierre is marvelous - I’ve been a directeur sportif for several years and rarely have I seen a young guy able to achieve such things in stage races," he said.
"I knew he was a very good rider but, honestly, I didn’t think that in his first year he’d be able to do what he has done. He must now learn how to channel his resources and continue his development next year in WorldTour races."
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