Ain (4th) / Eneco (5th)
Man from Membrilla takes 3rd, jumps into provisional GC podium at Tour de l’Ain as Basque notches 4th, shows strong legs before a tough race closer in Lélex
Movistar Team brought again their excellent collective work into the spotlight during the fourth, penultimate stage of the 24th Tour de l’Ain (UCI 2.1), over 156 kilometers between Nantua and the 8km, Cat. 1 climb towards Septmoncel, preceeded by the passages through Crochère (Cat. 1) and Longchaumois (Cat. 1). The telephone squad, absent into the 11-man breakaway, took command of the bunch in the first ascent to keep the gaps always low, under two minutes behind the leaders.
Bardet (ALM) and Marczynski (VCD) would be the last ones to be caught, already at the foot of the last climb, by a peloton where Sergio Pardilla created the moves halfway through the ascent, with Talansky (GRS) and Majka (STB) following his wheel as Beñat Intxausti kept always few seconds behind that trio and near enough to take the 4th place. Pardilla, 3rd at the final sprint, claims his first podium of the season and enters the contest for the last yellow jersey -he’s now in 2nd place, 12 seconds behind Talansky- in the eve of the final 132k from Saint-Claude to Lélex on Sunday, with two Cat. 2 climbs and the demanding Giron (Cat. 1) and Menthières (Cat. 1) in the finale.
Another day in the figth at Eneco Tour before defining weekend
On the other hand, José Joaquín Rojas (8th) and Fran Ventoso went again to the front for Movistar Team at another sprint finish on stage five in the Eneco Tour, won by Italian Giacomo Nizzolo (RNT) with a near margin over Belgian Jurgen Roelandts (LTB) after 182k from Hoogerheide to Aalter. The race will not be entering a trascendental test for the Blues with a 18k individual timr trial in Ardooie on Saturday, a penultimate effort before the finish in Geraardsbergen -with the climbs of the infamous Kapelmuur- on Sunday.