The New Zealand under-19 men’s cycling team have finished their three-week tour in Europe with success in the Vallee du Trambouze race at Cours-la-Ville in the Rhone region of France.

Waikato’s Drew Christensen claimed the overall victory in the two-stage race in the Rhone region of eastern France.

Christensen was one minute down on rising French cyclocross rider Matteo Vercher following the first stage 15km time trial.

However Christensen was outstanding in the 112km road race – eight laps of a 14km circuit – to solo away for the victory 2:58:20. His win gave him the overall title by 12 seconds.

Teammates Reuben Thompson (Cambridge) and Ari Scott (Nelson) finished fourth and fifth respectively, finishing in a small chasing bunch 1:03 behind Christensen to trail their teammate by 30 and 35sec respectively on overall classification.

Alexander White (Cambridge) finished 11th at 1:03 behind the winner while Barnaby Clegg-Shaw (Auckland) was 6min back in 33rd.

The Vallee du Trambouze is a long-running junior race with past winners including World Tour stars Thibaut Pinot, Romain Bardet and Nicholas Roche.

It completes a three-week campaign for the national under-19 team under the guise of coach Marc Prutton, where they competed over a variety of races and terrain throughout France. The competed in a high-profile three-day tour, the two-stage Trambouze race and several one-day club races.

Photo: Cullen Browne

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