Tour de l ´Ain
Stage 1: Saint-Vulbas – Montrevel-en-Bresse (159,1 km)
The manchego Isaac Cantón was one of the main protagonists of the first stage of the Tour of l´Ain. The young rider from Argamasilla de Alba gave a lot of presence to the continental Polartec-Kometa looking for the break with insistence. After a few initial solo measures, he ended up forming a quartet with the Swiss Dimitri Bussard, the German Jan Tschernoster and the Colombian Pablo Villegas (Manzana Postobon). After Villegas was taken down, the trio of twenty-year-olds would open the race until the last 35 kilometres.
The leak never took more than four minutes off. With 50 kilometres to go, the Canton-Bussard-Tscheroster trio took over well and consolidated their two-minute lead. A pack-splitting attempt by the Fortuneo, taking advantage of the wind, devoured a minute of that advantage in an instant. At 38 kilometers, the rent was less than a minute. Canton would persevere twice on its own to be hunted down, finally, 33.4 kilometers from the end. A good image in a day that counted with the presence of Alberto Contador in the caravan of the race.
His presentation had its prize, the podium. Canton was proclaimed the most combative rider of the first day. This first stage would have a sprint resolution, where the Frenchman Hugo Hostetter (Cofidis) would win ahead of his compatriots Lorrenzo Marzin (Vital Concept) and Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie). Miguel Angel Ballesteros was involved in the massive finish and, finishing in sixteenth place, was the first of the Polartec-Kometa riders on the finish line.
Jesus Hernandez, the team’s director: “We are very happy with the image shown, there is only one superpositive reading ahead of us. Seeing the result of the last day of Aragon, thinking about it these days, in the meeting prior to the stage we talked to the guys that when we race with ‘worldtour’ and professional continental teams we are going to change the way we run. I’ve asked them to be more aggressive, to try to catch leaks, to anticipate what other teams can do. With the exception of Michel Ries, who has been thinking more about the general classification, the others had these indications. And better yet, it’s impossible. Isaac took the escape, tried to dispute the mountain in the little door, where he was second, and in the end, pulling grinta, he attacked again to reinforce that prize of combativity, which to everything rider likes. We are very proud that our riders are the most combative”.
This Saturday will be a demanding second stage with up to eight climbs for the mountain grand prix. The 153.4 kilometres between Saint-Trivier-de-Courtes and Arbent are a mountain tooth. “A very hard day, with many levels, surely the escape will be much more difficult than today. In this race the bunch is small and it won’t be easy to catch the leak because there will be many attempts. We will have to be very attentive and hopefully we will be able to have that presence just as we have today,” concludes Hernández.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)