The Tour de l’Ain is an extremely demanding stage race for climbers. The route features 8,510 vertical metres in three days of racing. Basically, the 1st stage is tailored for sprinters or attackers, while the GC riders will battle it out in the two remaining races.
The 2nd stage serves an elevation gain of 3,159 metres. The 141 kilometres route does finish uphill, but as the finale is played out on a prolonged false flat a GC clash is unlikely to take place. Unless someone wants to test his legs and attacks from far out. The Col de Menthières – 9.1 kilometres at 6.3% – is the penultimate climb and it is crested with 21 kilometres to go.
Frankly, the most intriguing race of the Tour de l’Ain is the final stage. To begin with, it traverses the roads of the Tour de France (stage 15). But that’s not all. The route itself is fascinating.
With 3,562 vertical metres in 143 kilometres of racing it is fair to say that this is a proper test. The route circles around the Grand Colombier all day to go all the way to the top in the finale. The finish climb is 17.4 kilometres long and slopes at 7.1%, while serving several kilometres at more than 10%. Also, the intermediate climbs are very steep.
Victory on the Grand Colombier might justify top spot on pre-Tour de France favourites lists. Not to mention a GC triumph in the Tour de l’Ain 2020.
Favourites 2020 Tour de l’Ain
*** Primoz Roglic, Egan Bernal,
** Geraint Thomas, Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana
* Daniel Martin, Steven Kruijswijk, Richie Porte, Bauke Mollema