A weekend of competition in the Department of Gironde, in New Aquitaine, in a race of great international prestige in which the junior structure of the Contador Foundation has achieved good results in the past and in which it aspires to leave its mark in 2023. The French Tour de Gironde arrives, the race that a few years ago was part of the professionalism and that since 2018, managed by the Union Sportive Villenavaise Cyclisme, is organised for the U19 category.
The Tour de Gironde remains faithful to its proposal concentrated in one weekend: a day with a double sector where the time trial modality is proposed and a second longer day that takes place in the broken geography of the area. There are no high mountains, but the terrain is hilly and the roads are always winding.
Among the climbs to overcome, evocative names such as Le Petit Tourmalet, the Cote de Pujols or Le Fer à Cheval, all of them on Saturday, common in a moderate length, but with double digits at some point, without ignoring a Côte de la Vieille Cûre that is crowned in the vicinity of the finish line of the second sector. The number of scoring climbs is smaller on Sunday, but the high turnout (up to 27 teams competing, most of them from France but also representing Ukraine, Canada, Italy, Belgium and Spain) will certainly provide additional toughness.
Iván Polo, from Valladolid, who already knows the 2022 race, will be present again in a team completed by the second year junior Sergio Calvo and the first year juniors Iker Díaz, Mario Gómez, Iván Loaisa and Hugo Pradas. “These races are very different from the Spanish ones because of everything, the circuit, the schedules…”, says Polo. “They are races that I like a lot, with long courses for the junior category, but with short hills and with their hardness. Last year I liked the race a lot, especially the organisation. Saturday will be a particularly exhausting day, because at the end you have the time trial in the morning and almost without rest after a stage that will be hard. Above all I would emphasise the speed and pace of a race with a UCI peloton. As such, I loved the race as such and this year I hope to give a lot more of myself”.
Stage 1: Saint Denis de Piles – Guitres (10 km ITT).
Stage 2: Guitres – Cenon (97.6 km).
Stage 3: Podensac – Villenave d’Ornon (104.8 km).