Although not part of the WorldTour, its positioning in the revised 2020 calendar elevated the race to a much larger race just three weeks away from the Tour de France. Indeed, the stellar three-day race line-up included a number of riders who will be aiming for the yellow jersey during the Tour which kicks off in Nice on August 29.
The victory for Roglic and his teammates, who have raced superbly throughout the Tour de l’Ain, will have been a huge boost ahead of Jumbo-Visma’s highly anticipated showdown with Ineos and defending champion Bernal at the Tour. During the mountain stages on Saturday and Sunday, Jumbo-Visma put in impressive performances. On the other hand, Bernal was left isolated from his teammates and outnumbered by Jumbo-Visma. Roglic then overprinted Bernal on two consecutive days.
Geraint Thomas, who was competing in his first race since lockdown restrictions were relaxed, has done little to substantiate his claim to be given co-leadership duties with Bernal on the Tour after the Welshman finished more than 21 minutes on Roglic. Thomas should take the start at the Critérium du Dauphiné next week, the last tune-up race before the Tour.
While failing to win a second-place race doesn’t greatly disturb Ineos, four-time Tour winner Chris Froome’s performance will have raised eyebrows. One week after finishing 37th at La Route d’Occitanie, Froome rode in 26min 45sec in 41st place in the Tour de l’Ain.
Speaking to a Dutch broadcaster WE On Saturday, Trek-Segafredo rider Bauke Mollema said that Froome’s recent performances suggested he could no longer be considered a Tour de France contender.
“I no longer count Froome in fact,” said Mollema, sixth in the Tour de l’Ain.. “You can see he’s not at the level where you’re just going to win the Tour. ”
Meanwhile, Remco Evenepoel won his first WorldTour stage race on Sunday at the Tour of Poland after his Deceuninck-Quick Step teammate Davide Ballerini won the fifth and final stage in Krakow.
Evenepoel, who is aiming for Il Lombardia next weekend, the second monument of the season, has all the stage races he started in 2020 with victories in the Vuelta a San Juan, the Tour of the Algarve and the the Vuelta in Burgos.
“Our team dominated the race and it’s nice to leave Poland, which I really enjoyed, with so many victories,” Evenepoel said in a statement. “That’s the morale I needed for Il Lombardia.”