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The dominant figures
of tomorrow

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Michał Kwiatkowski, Philippe Gilbert, Greg van Avermaet, Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan, Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome. The winners of the nine main races of the season (monument, world, grand tours) hadn’t formed such a prestigious ensemble for several years. An ensemble that gathers multiple-winners of classic races, world champions, dominant figures in an epoch of grand tours, and some promises come true, to some extent protagonists of a future that is already here. So much prestige has however inevitably a downside: it takes time to build such a curriculum, and here the average age is 31, Kwiatkowski (27), Sagan (27) and Dumoulin (26) lower it but are not enough to prove a change of generation occurred, nor the one that will take place, that will obviously have other shoulders to lean on.

Road cycling is an abnormal sport also in this respect: the generational replacements hardly ever take place gradually, mostly provide evidence to revolutions. We might deduct that this revolution has not broken out and will not break out very shortly, but the rise of a new future is starting to show. Behind this multitude of winners (and of losers), 2017 road cycling has already given great indications of the children of the ‘90s who will pocket the future ferociously. And if the young talents were not blocked down by sumptuous contracts when they are still beardless, a team manager with talent, bravery and a lot of money could already define the team with which to rule the road cycling of next years. 

A fantastic youth team today, a clout tomorrow, prepared hiring in fact the nine young ones who have shone in this 2017. A team formed exclusively by talents born in 1994 and after, straddling that era that in road cycling has picked up the baton from a by now outdated distinction between professionalism and amateurism. So much that in this team everybody is a professional, actually also the amateurs. Necessary barrier that cuts out those young talents, though not that young, who over these months have had their say such as Dylan Teuns, Julian Alaphilippe, Bob Jungels, the Yates brothers, Alberto Bettiol, Dylan van Baarle, Alexey Lutsenko or Florian Sénéchal, but if the nine chosen kept the promises of the last season, we wouldn’t miss them so much.

The dominant figures of tomorrow 01

The sprinter (and captain): Fernando Gaviria (23 years old)
How many years have we been talking of Gaviria? Time has gone by since his triumphs in the track world cup when he was just past of age till the sprints won as a 20 year old at San Luis, yet the antioqueño sprinter is only 23, in this season competed for his first grand tour and came home with four stages won.

The climber: Miguel Ángel López (23 years old)
For most of the Vuelta, the impression is that the best climber was this other Colombian. “Superman” is an extraordinary collector of bad luck, but when the wheel of fortune turns in his direction he has few rivals, apparently also among the bigs of the road cycling of today.

The dominant figures of tomorrow 02

The ranking man: Egan Bernal (20 years old)
The future of road cycling is Colombian, also the clout Sky has become aware of it, hiring hastily this young phenomenon, who besides dominating the Tour de l’Avenir, the reference race of the young road cycling, has already shown a disarming easiness also among great champions. His limits are unknown.

The dominant figures of tomorrow 03

The man of stones: Gianni Moscon (23 years old)
The future of the Italian road cycling is nearer than expected. In his first season as protagonist in Sky and in the national team the cyclist from Trentino has already finished two classic races in the top positions (5th Roubaix, 3rd Lombardia), run a phenomenon Vuelta and a world championship as a protagonist. With some polemics, as it happens to champions.

The dominant figures of tomorrow 04

The men of the Ardennes: David Gaudu (21 years old)
After three months of professionalism, the Breton climber was already in the top 10 positions of the Flèche Wallonne; in the summer his first victory (at Tour de l’Ain) projected by captain Thibaut Pinot; in autumn 5th at Milano-Torino. Impact of a sprinter, considering that he is a climb runner.

The forerunner: Mads Pedersen (22 years old)
A domestique role for the time being, but it is what all sprinters start from, or almost. Danish of the Trek team, he has won only in his country (national title included) but with flashes of class of a little champion. With his fellow countryman Søren Kragh Andersen (not taken into account here) is already a dream couple.

The climbing man: Enric Mas (22 years old)
Born in the Balearic Islands but grown up in the school of the madrileño by definition, Mas ended up again sharing with Albero Contador a moment of glory, the last ascent of Angliru, culmination of the long summer of the young Iberian climber. From the “Pistolero” he has taken the desire to be an uphill standout, and perhaps partly the challenge of the Spanish road cycling of the future.  

The dominant figures of tomorrow 05
The dominant figures of tomorrow 06

The young: Bjorg Lambrecht and Pavel Sivakov (20 years old)
Children in a team of young, they are the only ones to taste the professionalism only in 2018, but their past season in the under 23 group is already more than a omen. They seem tailored to the grand tours of the future, once they will have re-set their exertion to the new paces. However a Belgian and a Russian protagonists of the stage races appear as a dive into a happy past, missing in today’s road cycling, but coming back. It is just around the corner.

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