Matt Gibson and Jon Mould take victories in France
Yesterday, Matt Gibson won stage five of the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir, arguably the biggest win of his season so far. The young rider representing Great Britain won the stage with a powerful sprint into the finish town of Levroux.
The highly respected French stage-race is open only to competitors aged under 23. Regarded as the junior Tour de France, the event always highlights future world talents and former winners include Columbia’s Nairo Quintana and Esteban Chaves and Tour de France King of the Mountains winner, Warren Barguil.
Matt Gibson almost didn’t make the selection to the Great Britain squad, following a crash during a race in July. The young rider broke his thumb which threatened his call-up. Team partner, HMT Hospitals, operated on the injury within days of the incident and provided Gibson with a specialist lightweight cast so he could continue to train on his bike.
Gibson was delighted with his stage victory and thanked his GB teammates for their support:
“I’m so relieved I managed to take the sprint. I can’t thank the team enough, they’ve all done such an amazing job today. There is one more flattish stage tomorrow, and another chance at a sprint then we head up into the mountains!”
The victory caps off an amazing season for Gibson, who returned to cycling under the guidance of John Herety and JLT Condor. In 2015 Matt Gibson was unable to continue within the British Cycling development programme because of an undiagnosed illness. In this whirlwind season, the rider from Cheshire has taken victories for JLT Condor in the New Zealand Cycle Classic, Tour du Loire et Cher, won the green jersey in the Tour de Normandie and won the2018 National Criterium Championships.
Mould wins in Marbriers
No sooner had Matt Gibson’s stage victory been confirmed, Jon Mould sprinted over the line in northern France to take victory in the Grand Prix des Marbriers (UCI 2.1), a 160km one-day race. John Herety has attended the single day race for the last ten years as part of the team preparations ahead of the Tour of Britain.
Team manager, John Herety explained how he used the race as one of his selection criteria for the forthcoming stage race on the British Isles: