Team NetApp finishes Tour de l’Ain 13th in the overall rankings
The final stage over 134 km from Saint-Claude to Lelex Monts-Jura was the decisive stage for the general classification. Five mountain classifications must be overcome, three second category and two first category. Tour de France stage-winner Thibaut Pinot (FDJ Big Mat) won the stage. Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) rounded out the all-French podium. Jan Barta was the best rider for Team NetApp, finishing in 18th place. The best Team NetApp rider in the general classification is Matthias Brändle in 13th place.
The stage started with many attacks, which were consistently parried by the teams with chances in the general classification. Finally a 12-man group managed to break away from the bunch. 30 kilometers from the finish, Thibaut Pinot attacked out of the lead group and ensured his stage win with a solo run.
“Today was another very difficult stage with five mountain classifications. Many groups formed one after another. The bunch was going amazingly fast. We didn’t make it into the lead group, so we concentrated on getting Matthias ahead in the mountains. That worked well. On the first long ascent, the riders that were ahead of him couldn’t keep up. We saw an opportunity to improve Matthias’ overall ranking. However, the riders closed the gap again and Matthias remained 13th in the overall rankings,” reported Enrico Poitschke on leaving the final stage.
“All in all, the guys had a good race. With the profile and the surprising speed of the individual stages, Matthias coming in 13th in the overall rankings is quite a good showing, as he is not a classical mountain rider. Two second places, the yellow jersey for a day and 13th in the overall ranking is quite significant,” said Enrico Poitschke, summing up the result of the tour.
Stage 1, August 7th
Montmerle-Sur-Saone – Trevoux (146,2 km)
Stage 2, August 8th
Lagnieu – Amberieu-en-Bugey (83 km)
TTT – Saint-Vulbas / Plaine de L’Ain (10,7 km)
Stage 3, August 9th
Belley – Montreal-la-Cluse (148,5 km)
Stage 4, August 10th
Nantua – Septmoncel (156,7 km)
Stage 5, August 11th
Saint-Claude – Lelex Monts-Jura (134,7 km)
Jan Barta, Daniel Schorn, Andre Schulze, Michael Schwarzmann, Markus Eichler, Matthias Brändle, Blaz Jarc