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Giro Next Gen

Alexy Faure Prost is 5th and best young rider

Under the direction of  Kévin van Melsen, team Circus-ReUz-Technord made a good impression in the Giro Next Gen, the U23 version of the famous Giro d'Italia, with three stage podiums, a top five in the general classification, a distinctive jersey and second place in the team classification.

From the beginning, Roel van Sintmaartensdijk achieved a top ten in the opening time trial, with Francesco Busattoconquering the jersey of best Italian rider. A distinctive jersey he wore during three stages and with which he nearly won the second day, only preceded by one survivor of the breakaway, when he won the bunch sprint for second place in Cherasco.

The winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 added a new podium on the fifth day, taking third place on an explosive finish in Manerba del Garda. The last podium, and not the least, was obtained by climber Alexy Faure Prost on the slopes of the mythical Passo dello Stelvio. The only rider who was able to rival with Johannes Staune-Mittet, the winner of the Giro Next Gen, took second place and conquered the white jersey of best young rider.

The 19 year old Frenchman managed to keep his white kit until the final day in Trieste. After eight stages he finished fifth in the final classification, as the only rider born in 2004 in the top ten. Busatto ended twentieth, other first year U23 Tim Rex is 27th. In the team classification, Circus-ReUz-Technord finished second out of 25 participating teams.

"To achieve a good final classification was a goal for this Giro Next Gen, one of the most important races on the U23 calendar. That's why I trained hard during the period after the Tryptique Ardennais, with training sessions of Christophe Prémont mainly focused on volume. Ten days before the start I participated to the Mercan'Tour Classic, my first pro race. I had the honour to share the room with Lilian Calmejane, who gave me precious advice to line up for my first race composed of a series of long climbs. That's where I discovered my qualities on longer climbs. So my preparation for the Giro Next Gen has been excellent."

"On day four I had the opportunity to show myself on my favourite terrain. The Passo dello Stelvio is quite similar to the French Alps which I know so well. Everything went well until the queen stage on Saturday. I had a bad day, probably on the worst moment during the week and this was of course a big disappointment. With 100 kilometer to go I was already dropped from the peloton. Without the unconditional support of my teammates it would not have been possible to finish the race, let alone keeping the white jersey. It would have been a dream to finish on the final podium, but I can be very proud of what I accomplished with the team this week."

"It was the first time I participated to a proper stage race of more than three days. I was the GC leader in the team, that was also new for me. I learned how to deal with pressure. I want to thank the team, both the staff and riders. My transfer to Circus-ReUz-Technord offered me the opportunity to progress and to prosper. I will now take some rest before starting my preparation for my next goals. I'm thinking of the Giro della Valle d'Aosta, another difficult stage race which can suit me."

"I'm very proud of the fifth place of Alexy Faure. Even though we knew his exceptional climbing capabilities, he managed to surprise us with his fantastic second place on the Passo dello Stelvio. Unfortunately the final podium slipped through his fingers because of a bad day in stage seven. This experience teached him lessons on a tactical level. Our 19 year old rider showed great performances and will return home with a rich experience."

"We were close to a stage win with our leaders Alexy and Francesco Busatto. Especially on day two, which would have been a deserved and fantastic reward for our five riders who controlled the whole stage. Circus-ReUz-Technord took the responsibility of the chase behind the leaders, but one managed to stay six seconds ahead of the bunch. From this stage I will remember the team spirit and the devotion of all riders for Francesco."

"In addition to the great teamwork of Roel van Sintmaartensdijk and Jelle Vermoote alongside their leaders, Tim Rex nicely surprised as first year U23. It was for his potential and his commitment for the team that we selected him for this Giro Next Gen. In the end, this rude stage race enabled him to discover other qualities. He made a good impression in the high mountains alongside Alexy. I'm convinced that Tim will surprise us more often in a positive way in the future."

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