The flat opening stage at the Tour de l’Ain (2.1, 29-31/7) only inspired three riders to attack. The international trio was given freedom from the peloton from the start. Team Arkea Samsic and Deceuninck – Quick Step showed their ambition by leading the chase. The maximal advantage of less than 3 minutes foreshadowed a bunch sprint. A hill of fourth category with 20 kilometer to go didn’t influence the race. Riccardo Minali took up the challenge against the other sprinters in the streets of Bourg-en-Bresse. The Italian sprinter finished 6th in the race won by Alvaro Hodeg.
The 141 kilometer stage was an excellent warm up for the next two days in the middle mountains. This Friday, the second stage with start in Lagnieu contains four categorized climbs. After 105 kilometer, the riders will reach the top of the Col de Portes situated at 1001 meter of altitude. After the descent and passage through the start village, 16 flat kilometer have to be covered until the finish in Saint-Vulbas.