Solid start to Tour de l'Ain

07 Aug 2020

Solid start to Tour de l'Ain

Tour de l'Ain - Stage one: Montréal-la-Cluse › Ceyzeriat, 139.5km

Team INEOS got off to a strong start at the Tour de l’Ain after stage one produced an exciting finish.
 
GC contenders Egan Bernal (14th) and Geraint Thomas (24th) both finished safely in a reduced bunch sprint, with both riders able to react to a strong late attack from Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).
 
Bernal was glued to the wheel of the Slovenian, with Tao Geoghegan Hart also on hand to help keep things in check inside the final kilometre.
 
At the finish it was Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) who timed his sprint well on the final ramp to claim victory.
 
A narrow, technical and punchy run into Ceyzeriat saw a battle for position form at the front of the race, with Team INEOS keeping the tempo high through strong work from Jonathan Castroviejo.
 
Amid the rapid finish Chris Froome was forced into a bike change at an inopportune moment. The Brit fought valiantly to regain contact with the bunch, but was unable to react as the tempo immediately rose in the final kilometres. 
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Reaction

- Geraint Thomas

"It was definitely strange to start with. Going from training on your own for weeks during lockdown, then to Tenerife riding in a group again – to suddenly be back in a peloton like that was definitely different. It felt good though actually. It’s good to test the legs properly instead of just riding to numbers in training. It’s important to be back in the peloton and getting that rhythm back.
 
"I thought I’d struggle a bit with the punch and to start with I did. But by the end I felt like I had legs decent enough to follow the moves. It was a nice start and it gets progressively harder now each day."

- Gabriel Rasch

"We didn’t expect Jumbo-Visma to take control from the start like they did. It was good for us as we just wanted to get through the day safely. We’re happy with how it unfolded and we can look forward to the next couple of days."
Stage one result:

1. Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
3. Stefan Bissegger (Swiss National Team)
4. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma)
5. Erik Fetter (Kometa Xstra)
14. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS)
24. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS)