Team NetApp has to pay tribute to the mountains of the Tour de l'Ain
The penultimate stage of the Tour de l'Ain covered 157 km, starting in Nantua and finishing in Septmoncel. On the classic mountain stage Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) relegated his fellow competitor Rafal Majka (Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank) and Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Movistar) to second and third place. As a result, Andrew Talansky also took over the yellow jersey from Daniel Navarro (Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank). Today the mountains proved a challenge for Team NetApp, meaning that the team could not influence the outcome.
Today's stage also began fast. The first third of the race was characterized by a hail of attacks and only after 60 km was the decisive group able to separate itself from the field. The makeup of the group was strong, which inspired the peloton to begin the catch-up work immediately. The vanguard was cornered shortly before the mountain finish. However, the whole field disintegrated on the category-1 final climb.
"Today Matthias was highly motivated. But today's form wasn't quite up to keeping pace with the decisive group. We still tried to ride him to a good position at the foot of the final climb. But unfortunately that didn't work out today," explained Enrico Poitschke, Sport Director of Team NetApp.
"André Schulze didn't make the time limit after the grueling work of the past few days, which was a pity. Tomorrow he won't start. Cut down to five riders it'll be tough for us to ride to a result in tomorrow's stage," Poitschke continued.
The final stage over 134 km from Saint-Claude to Lelex Monts-Jura will be the decisive stage for the general classification. The riders can expect five mountain classifications, three in the second category and two in the first.
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