Groupama-FDJ’s Alexandre Balmer, Swiss prospect of the multidiscipline, will be at the forefront at the Italian U23 one-day race on April 5th. “Van der Poel and Van Aert are my points of reference”
Scheduled on Monday, April 5th in Villa di Villa (Treviso, Northern Italy), the Giro del Belvedere is one of those U23 international event made to leave a permanent mark on young riders’ careers ahead of turning pro’, even more this time as many youth UCI World Teams will attend bringing rising stars of the multidiscipline to the fore, in the wake of Mathieu Van der Poel and Wout Van Aert.
Groupama-FDJ Continental’s Alexandre Balmer, 20, is part of the cycling NextGen. The Swiss youngster showed to be an early prospect for both road and MTB contentions. In fact, Balmer triumphed in the 2018 Cross Country World Championships (JR category), after dominating the Swiss Road National Championships (JR road race and ITT). Moreover, the Swiss athlete conquered the 2020 ITT National title in the U23 category.
“I approached road cycling quite late – Balmer explained – but I am one of the best downhill riders of the peloton thanks to my MTB background. The multidiscipline is profitable to always have short-term goals. Van der Poel and Van Aert are my two points of reference and their extraordinary performances give me extra motivation during training. While any comparison with them doesn’t stand yet, I aim to grow as an athlete with the help of my team Groupama-FDJ”.
Alexandre Balmer is a 192cm-height rouleur albeit he showed his climber skills at the 2018 Road World Championships in Innsbruck, when he took fourth. “I am looking forward to riding the Giro del Belvedere course and I wish a very challenging race – Balmer added -. My goal is to win an international road race and it would be amazing to accomplish it in Italy, I love this country”.
In the last editions, Switzerland has claimed the Giro del Belvedere twice, with Stefan Küng in 2013 and Patrick Müller in 2016. However, Alexandre Balmer will have to face contenders such as Leo Hayter (Team DSM Continental), Valentin Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroen U23), Juan Ayuso (Team Colpack), along with Italian prospects Luca Colnaghi (Trevigiani) and Edoardo Zambanini (Zalf Desirée Fior).
The riders will tackle a 166,8-Km route through two different circuits: the first (14 laps of 9,4 Km each) including the Conche hill, whilst the final circuit (17,6 Km to be repeated twice) displays the classic Montaner climb in Borgo Canalet.