Jumbo-Visma puts Ineos on notice at Tour de l’Ain’s mountainous stage 2

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Capping off an impressive show of team strength, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) took the second stage of the Tour de l’Ain, finishing just ahead of Egan Bernal.

The finale provided a contrast between two super teams that will vie for the Tour de France is under a month’s time. Bernal, isolated after losing teammates Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, could do little against a Jumbo-Visma that used Tom Dumoulin, Robert Gesink, George Bennett, and Steven Kruijswijk to dominate proceedings.

The stage win gives Roglic a 10-second lead over Bernal with one stage remaining.

The three-day French race, a 2.1-classified event that does not normally see battles between the best GC riders in the world, was expected to see fireworks this year as it is one of the few tests on the revised calendar ahead of the Tour on August 29. Stage 2 was a 140km race through the Jura mountains, hitting five categorized climbs before an uphill finish at Lélex Monts-Jura.

An early breakaway of five was swallowed up on the penultimate climb, the Col du Menthieres, and Jumbo-Visma began to press its team strength advantage. Dumoulin and Gesink swapped pulls, eviscerating the bunch and getting rid of both Froome and Thomas. By the summit, only six riders remained: Roglic, Kruijswijk, Bernal, Nairo Quintana, and Bauke Mollema.

Ineos’ Jonathan Castelviejo clawed his way back, bringing UAE’s Valerio Conti with him. Castroviejo came in handy for Bernal, helping close down an attack from Kruijswijk before leaving Bernal to finish the job.

Kruijswijk led out the sprint, followed by Bernal. Roglic came around in the final meters to take the stage win.

Sunday’s final stage is capped by a summit finish on the Grand Colombiere, and another opportunity to see the cycling’s two best GC teams go head to head.

Stage results:
1 – Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)
2 – Egan Bernal (Ineos) ST
3 – Velerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates) ST
4 – Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) ST
5 – Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) 7″

1 – Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)
2 – Egan Bernal (Ineos) 10″
3 – Velerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates) 12″
4 – Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 16″
5 – Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) ST

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