The 32nd edition of the Tour de l’Ain kicked off this Friday, August 7 in Montreal-la-Cluse. On the programme: a 140-kilometre long stage between Haut Bugey and Bassin de Bourg-en-Bresse. After a 15-year break, Ceyzériat is once again the setting of Tour de l’Ain stage finish.
On a course without great difficulty and at over 33° C, a breakaway composed of 4 riders (Brunel – Groupama FDJ, Salmon – Team Sunweb, Paluta – CCC Team, and Centrone – Natura4Ever Roubaix – Lille Métropole) quickly took off in an attempt to thwart the sprinters’ plans.
However, the quartet never gained more than a three-minute lead over a field controlled by Israel Start Up Nation and Jumbo Visma. Caught in the last kilometers, Centrone and Paluta nevertheless consoled themselves with the Blue Polka-Dot and GP of Combativity jerseys, respectively.
In the final bump on the approach to Ceyzériat, one and a half kilometres from the line, Roglic, one of the favourites for the next Tour de France, placed an acceleration that eliminated all the pure sprinters, taking with him, among others, Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas — also preparing for the Grande Boucle. On the long final straight line, the high speed Jumbo Visma duo of Dumoulin/Roglic was passed in the last meters by Deceuninck QuickStep‘s young Italian Andrea Bagioli. At only 21 years old, the man who wore the yellow jersey on the roads of the last Tour de l’Avenir, signs his first professional win to his palmarès. Promising.
It should be noted that some of the leaders have already lost time on this tortuous and hilly final: Taaramae, Porte, Gesink and Froome.
Tomorrow’s stage between Lagnieu and Lélex Monts Jura will be very hilly, favoring the punchy climbers in the peloton.