Tour de l'Ain (st. 2)
Blues back at front into second consecutive sprint finish in Tour de l’Ain, prelude to Friday’s five grueling climbs towards Lélex Monts-Jura, where Carapaz will test his legs. Tosh Van der Sande (LTS) won today
The first hills in this year’s Tour de l’Ain -stage two, 173.2km between Saint-Didier-sur-Chalaronne and Montréal-la-Cluse- were covered under perfect conditions, temperatures barely getting over 20s. That made for a slightly-softer-than-expected scenario, with an initial four-man escape -Grellier (DEN), Pereira (RLM), Combaud (DMP) and Spengler (SW)- caught with 20km remaining, into the last of two climbs of the Côte de Cossiat (Cat-3), where Madouas (FR) and Molard (COF) tried their luck. Their aspirations were over as they got caught with 2.5km to go.
Juanjo Lobato again got in the mix into the closing meters, yet Lotto Soudal controlled again the pace and centered their shot to perfection this time, with Tosh Van der Sande outsprinting Michael Schwarzmann (BOA) over the line. The Spaniard finished 8th -sits now 9th overall– as the rest of the Movistar Team saved as much energy as possible for Friday’s demanding mountain day. Racing will start from Nantua and tackle five ascents before a mountain-top finish in Lélex Monts-Jura (141,4km). Climbers will take the lead as Richard Carapaz seeks for sensations in his first real test in this long month of August.
Picture ©: Home – Petri Lehikoinen / News – Direct Velo