The confirmation of the starters and the withdrawal of the bibs traditionally mark the start of a cycling event by an administrative side. The state of form of the riders and the infirmary can cause the composition of the teams to change.
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) is confirmed in Ain where he had his first victory among the pros in 2014. The double world champion accompanied by Rémi Cavagna is making his return to competition in France. The French public awaits it. Especially since this is the first time that a world champion is at the start of the Tour de l’Ain.
After a Tour de France stopped prematurely because of Covid, Guillaume Martin is thirsty for revenge. Cofidis displays its ambitions by supporting it with Spanish climbers Ruben Fernandez and Jesus Herrada, and French, François Bidard and Rémy Rochas. Lotto Soudal, reinforced by the experienced Tim Wellens and Sylvain Moniquet, intends to place Harm Vanhoucke (2nd) in orbit, like last year. AG2R Citroën Team hands over the controls to Geoffrey Bouchard and Lilian Calmejane, and has a card to play on the first day with Clément Venturini. If there is a sprint, the latter will certainly face Jason Tesson. Saint-Michel Auber 93 will probably place Stéphane Rossetto and Romain Cardis in breakaways with members of B&B Hôtels KTM. Maxime Chevalier had been one of the best representatives in 2021. Groupama FDJ presents Clément Davy, Sébastien Reichenbach, Rudy Molard and Jake Stewart, in particular, men capable of hosting at least one day and why not aiming for the podium like Matteo Badilatti , 3rd in 2021 (absent in 2022).
The local Geoffrey Soupe dreams of winning a stage as certainly his teammate Paul Ourselin, another asset at Total Energies. Team Arkea Samsic also fields a well-crafted team with Anthony Delaplace, Nicolas Edet, Elie Gesbert and Simon Guglielmi.
EF Education Easy Post has changed its team composition (no Padun or Steinhauser) and relies on Stefan Bissegger who has already distinguished himself on the Tour de l’Ain. This is also the case of Julien Bernard, best climber in 2020, with a Trek Segafredo team made up of five nationalities including the Dane Mattias Jensen, 5th in 2021. The young Colombian Andres Camilo Ardila Ordonez guided by George Bennett will be one to watch in the mountains just like a homogeneous Movistar Team. Alexandre and Nicolas Vinokurov defend the colors of Qazakhstan Development Team.
Every year, the Tour de l’Ain reveals young riders from less experienced teams. Who’s next in 2022?