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97th Tour de France - The Young Guns
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 7/3/2010
97th Tour de France - The Young Guns

97th Tour de France - The Young Guns
38 of the pro peloton's most talented young riders compete in the "Race Inside the Race" to take home the the white jersey of Best Young Rider

As we start the 97th edition of the tour de France it's time to take a look at the Young Guns who will compete for the honors to win the U26 honors and to take home the Maillot Blanc of the youth category of the tour.

It is more than a mere token of having beat your competitors, or a foreshadowing a riders potential as a grand tour rider and future winner of the tour.

Winning the jersey might bring you a fatter paycheck next year or a longer contract or other opportunities if you can add your name to that of Alberto Contador, Denis Menchov, Andy Hampsten, Greg LeMond, or Jan Ullrich who won it three times. (Palmares below)

So a quick look at our 38 competitors, one immeditately notices  has some very familiar names below Tony Martin's name on the current classification after today's opening prologue.  But many of these young talented riders will have to subjugate their efforts to win the best young riders trophy to their team leader as a domestique; few will if any will have any luxury of riding for the prize. Only two exceptions spring to mind Roman Kreuziger who is co leader of the Liquigas team with Ivan Basso. And Andy Schleck team leader of team Saxo Bank.

Most prominent of the  names is Andy Shcleck, seond on the G.C. last year, quite possibly could win his  his third Maillot Blanc... although Andy as leader of Bjarne Riis' squad will have his eyes squarely set on wearing the yellow jersey in Paris; if he wins the maillot blanc it may only be the result of his success in his hunt for the overall victory... or so he hopes.

Those trying to get around the very talented Mr. Schleck and Roman Kreuziger have a daunting task this year; but still their are talented riders to watch like Rabo Bank's Lars Boom and Robert Gesink who will shine in the mountains at the side of team leader Denis Menchov.

Edvald Boasson Hagen of SKY, we could well see challenge Mark Cavendish (HTC/Columbia) for stage wins alongside and other young guys like Lampre/Farnese Vini duo Grega Bole and Simon Spilak, Milram's Gerald Ciolek and Footon's Rafael Valls. Though its unlikely any of these rideers will be able to challenge Schleck et al for the overall white jersey they can be counted on to weigh in on the fast finishes and still accomplish their duties as loyal domestiques. Jakob Fuglsang might gain some advantage if he can keep with team leader Andy Schleck in the mountains... Riis long ago used the words "future tour winner" and Fuglsang in the same sentence, after all.

Of course half the fun will be following along an watching a few of these riders to see if they surprise us all with a great all round performance at the tour or a stage win. A few of the ones I'll be watching to snatch a bit of glory include: Jurgen Roelandts a tough young rider, Joaqin Rojas of Caisse d'Epargne, Ag2r's Maxime Bouet and Eros Capecchi of Footon Servetto.

Best Young Rider Classification 
1 Martin Tony 115 Team HTC - Columbia 10:10
2 Thomas Geraint 39 Sky Pro Cycling - 00:13
3 Boasson Hagen Edvald 36 Sky Pro Cycling - 00:22
4 Malori Adriano 207 Lampre - Farnese - 00:25
5 Kreuziger Roman 44 Liquigas-Doimo - 00:28
6 Koren Kristjan 43 Liquigas-Doimo - 00:32
7 Oss Daniel 46 Liquigas-Doimo - 00:33
8 Boom Lars 192 Rabobank - 00:34
9 Konovalovas Ignatas 97 Cervelo Test Team - 00:34
10 Taaramae Rin 171 Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne - 00:35
11 Faria Da Costa Rui Alberto 162 Caisse d'Epargne - 00:39
12 Rojas Jose Joaquin 169 Caisse d'Epargne - 00:39
13 Fuglsang Jakob 14 Team Saxo Bank - 00:40
14 Kluge Roger 144 Team Milram - 00:40
15 Gesink Robert 195 Rabobank - 00:41
16 Pliuschin Alexandr 76 Katusha Team - 00:41
17 Ciolek Gerald 142 Team Milram - 00:42
18 Roelandts Jürgen 108 Omega Pharma - Lotto - 00:52
19 Delage Mickael 104 Omega Pharma - Lotto - 00:53
20 Duran Aroca Arkaitz 214 Footon-Servetto - 00:53
21 El Fares Julien 174 Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne - 00:54
22 Fröhlinger Johannes 143 Team Milram - 00:54
23 Bouet Maxime 82 Ag2r La Mondiale - 00:55
24 Roux Anthony 66Francaise des Jeux - 00:56
25 Schleck Andy 11 Team Saxo Bank - 00:59
26 Gautier Cyril 155 Bbox Bouygues Telecom - 00:59
27 Cavendish Mark 111 Team HTC - Columbia - 01:00
28 Spilak Simon 209 Lampre - Farnese - 01:00
29 Felline Fabio 216 Footon-Servetto - 01:03
30 Bole Grega 202 Lampre - Farnese - 01:04
31 Seeldrayers Kevin 137 Quick Step - 01:06
32 Valls Ferri Rafael 219 Footon-Servetto - 01:08
33 Capecchi Eros 211 Footon-Servetto - 01:09
34 Di Gregorio Rémy 63Francaise des Jeux - 01:09
35 De Greef Francis 103 Omega Pharma - Lotto - 01:15
36 Rolland Pierre 156 Bbox Bouygues Telecom - 01:18
37 Sulzberger Wesley 68Francaise des Jeux - 01:27
38 Frank Mathias 125BMC Racing Team - 03:22

2009 Andy Schleck
2008 Andy Schleck
2007 Alberto Contador (Spa)
2006 Damiano Cunego (Ita)
2005 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
2004 Vladimir Karpets (Rus)
2003 Denis Menchov (Rus)
2002 Ivan Basso (Ita)
2001 Oscar Sevilla (Spa)
2000 Francesco Mancebo (Spa)
1999 Benoit Salmon (Fra)
1998 Jan Ullrich (Ger)
1997 Jan Ullrich (Ger)
1996 Jan Ullrich (Ger)
1995 Marco Pantani (Ita)
1994 Marco Pantani (Ita)

1993 Antonio Martin (Spa)
1992 Eddy Bouwmans (Ned)
1991 Alvaro Meija (Col)
1990 Gilles Delion (Fra)
1988 Eric Breukink (Ned)
1987 Raul Alcala (Mex)
1986 Andy Hampsten (USA)
1985 Fabio Parra (Col)
1984 Greg LeMond (USA)
1983 Laurent Fignon (Fra)
1982 Phil Anderson (Aus)
1981 Peter Winnen (Ned)
1980 Johan Van De Velde (Ned)
1979 Jean-Rene Bernaudeau (Fra)
1978 Henk Lubberding (Ned)
1977 Dietrich Thurau (Ger)
1976 Enrique Martinez-Heredia (Spa)
1975 Francesco Moser (Ita)

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