Tour of l´Ain
France. From 18 to 20 May
The Polartec-Kometa Continental Team return to France for a new stage race on French soil. Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, Isaac Cantón, the Eritrean Awet Habtom, the Dutchman Kevin Inkelaar, the Luxembourger Michel Ries and the Colombian Wilson Peña will all represent the Madrid club in the always intense Tour of l´Ain, a competition that is celebrating its thirtieth edition and which brings together teams from the WorldTour category, both professional and continental. Up to sixteen formations will take the start.
The French round presents a winding and broken route where a priori the first day, ending in Montrevel-en-Bresse, is presented as the most affordable. On Saturday, on the way to Arbent, a sawtooth with seven scoring passes, and many more climbs without consideration for the Grand Prix of the mountain. And as a finale, on Sunday, a demanding finish at La Faucille, a 10 km ascent of 6.5% on average that will surely define the winner of the race.
In the Department of L ´Ain, where in 2017 he won an entire Thibaut Pinot, you will find the best French formations. Lilian Calmejane, David Gaudu, Toni Gallopin or Nicolas Edet, perhaps Rein Taraamae, are the favourites for a general in which Michel Ries or Kevin Inkelaar will try to take a step forward after their good performance in the Vuelta a Aragón.
“The Tour of l´Ain is in line with the tests we have been doing with the presence of WorldTour and Continental Professional teams. These are learning races for our cyclists, events where they can run seriously and with big teams next to them. We are looking to go deeper into the line we have taken in Valencia, Aragon, Haut Var,… Whenever there is a WorldTour team, you have to learn to run with them and also have a presence in the race. For us it is very important that the kids, even if they are very young, can be next to great teams and riders, and try to make them go without complexes and be protagonists in the race. That’s the idea, to have a presence in the race. Maybe you can’t fight for a win in a “you to you” game, given the level of the game, but if there are big leaks, which can even reach the finish line, we must fight to get in”, says director Jesús Hernández.
Friday 18: Saint-Vulbas – Montrevel-en-Bresse (159,1 km).
Saturday 19: Saint-Trivier-de-Courtes – Arbent (153.4 km).
Sunday 20th: Léle Monts-Jura – Col de La Faucille (133,4 km).
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)