STA, 9 August 2020 - Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič of the Dutch team Team Jumbo-Visma won the three-stage Tour de l'Ain race in France on Sunday in what is seen as a dress rehearsal for Tour de France.
What is usually a smaller race in France this year attracted the strongest teams because of the coronavirus pandemic and the related changes to the schedule of the races. After 34 kilometres, the route turned to what will be the route of the 107th Tour de France on 13 September, at the end of the second week of the three-week prestigious competition.
Roglič finished seconded in the first stage of Tour de l'Ain on Friday, but then proved his supremacy on Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday, the 139-kilometre, mostly plain route was not cut out for Roglič, and he was forced to admit defeat to Italy's Andreo Bagioli, while Swiss Stefan Bissegger was third.
But Saturday's more diverse 140.5-kilometre race between Lagnieu and Lelex Monts-Jura allowed him to beat Columbian Egana Bernal(Ineos), while Italian Valerio Conti was third.
In today's final stage, the 144.5-kilometre race between Saint-Vulbas and the Grand Colombier, Roglič overtook Bernal and his fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana (Arkea Samsic) while climbing the Grand Colombier. Roglič was four seconds faster than Bernal, and six seconds faster than Quintana.
The cyclists remained in that order overall as well. Overall, Roglič beat Bernal and Quintana by 18 and 28 seconds, respectively.
"Today was hard too. The Ineos team made sure the challenge was really hard with a strong rhythm uphill. But our team did an excellent job again, so I could finish successfully," Roglič said, adding his mind was already on Tour de France.
"My main ambition at the Tour will be to place as high as possible there, to grow together with my team, and to do our job the best we can. That's the main goal," Roglič said.