While the classic riders put their best foot forward in Milan-Sanremo today, the cream of the big lap could prove itself today in the second stage of the Tour de l’Ain. The riders got five climbs on their plate.
The early breakaway, with Nils Politt among others, lasted until the penultimate and most difficult climb: the Col de Menthières. Jumbo-Visma started its offensive on the flanks of the Menthières.
The Dutch team maintained a scorching pace and did not let anyone escape. Soon there were cracks in the peloton and a group of favorites remained.
Bernal, Roglic, Bennett, Kruijswijk, Mollema and Quintana were the six tenors who stormed towards the finish. In the descent Valerio Conti and Jonathan Castroviejo were able to connect. The latter could give his captain Bernal a hand.
In the meantime, Jumbo-Visma continued to play the team game. Kruijswijk attacked, forcing Castroviejo to empty himself for Bernal.
After Castroviejo had done his job, Bernal drove the gap to Kruijswijk.
Everything came together again and it came to a sprint at the ski resort of Lélex Monts-Jura. Roglic had not kicked too much yet. He sped everyone off the wheel and won convincingly. Bernal came in second, Conti third.
“The team did a great job. It is nice to see that our boys are so strong”, Roglic said afterwards. The Slovenian will also immediately become the new leader.