Tour de l'Ain

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Tour de l'Ain
Race details
Date August
Region France
English name Tour of the Ain
Race of Friendship
Local name(s) Tour de l'Ain
Prix de l'Amitié
Discipline Road
Competition UCI Europe Tour 2.1
Type Stage race
Organiser Alpes Vélo
History
First edition 1989 (1989)
Editions 29 (as of 2017)
First winner  Serge Pires Leal (FRA)
Most wins No repeat winners
Most recent  Thibaut Pinot (FRA)

Tour de l'Ain, also known as the Prix de l'Amitié , is an annual late season professional cycling stage race held in mid-August in eastern France.

G.P. de l'Amitié[edit]

The first edition of the race was in 1970, as the G.P. de l'Amitié (Friendship G.P.). It was held over four or five days in early September and served as a preparation for the Tour de l'Avenir, thus attracting also international riders, especially the Spanish team. The course ran straight across the French Alpes, starting in Nice, on the Côte d'Azur, and finishing in Bourg-en-Bresse, the capital of the Bresse region, north of Lyon, at the base of the Jura mountain range. Main difficulty was the mountain finish on Les Orres. In uneven years the course was reversed: from Bourg to Nice. As the Tour de l'Avenir threatened to be cancelled in 1976, the G.P. de l'Amitié jumped in and served as replacement, expanding the race to nine days. The execution of this event strained the organisation so much that it had to back down. From 1978 onwards the race merely had a national field of participants and was conducted only in the Provence Alpes, starting and finishing in Nice, still with the mountain finish on Les Orres. The organisation recovered however, and opened their race to professionals in 1986. A lot of French riders used this tough race - from Nice, via Valloire (over the Galibier), to Combloux - as a preparation for the Tour de l'Avenir.

Tour de l'Ain[edit]

In 1989 new organizers came, Dante Lavacca, Armand Peracca, and Maurice Josserand. They took the race back to its roots, to Bourg-en-Bresse, and changed its name into Tour de l'Ain. From 1989 to 1992 it was an amateur event. In 1993 it became open to professionals. In 1999 Cyclisme Organisation took over the organizing of the event and in the 1999 edition for the first time the climb of the Grand Colombier was included. The race had a 2.5 UCI (pro-am) status but was in 2002 promoted to the professional 2.3 category. Since the inception of the UCI ProTour and the UCI Continental circuits in 2005, the race has been classed into category 2.1 (in which all former 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 races were combined).[1] The race has a mountainous profile and is held in the Jura Mountains with the 1,534 metre high Grand Colombier as a decisive climb in the four-day stage race.

Winners[edit]

Rider Team
1972 France Gutierrez, AntoineAntoine Gutierrez (FRA)
1973 France Pianaro, RichardRichard Pianaro (FRA)
1974 Spain Martinez Heredia, EnriqueEnrique Martinez Heredia (ESP)
1975 Spain Lopez del Alamo, AngelAngel Lopez del Alamo (ESP)
1976 Sweden Nilsson, Sven-ÅkeSven-Åke Nilsson (SWE)
1977 France Millard, JoëlJoël Millard (FRA)
1978 France Charlier, MichelMichel Charlier (FRA)
1979 France Lavenu, VincentVincent Lavenu (FRA)
1980 France Mas, GillesGilles Mas (FRA)
1981 France André, DanielDaniel André (FRA)
1982 France Faussurier, BernardBernard Faussurier (FRA)
1983 France Celle, DenisDenis Celle (FRA)
1984 France Celle, DenisDenis Celle (FRA)
1985 Poland Oswarek, SylvainSylvain Oswarek (POL)
1986 France Esnault, PatricePatrice Esnault (FRA) Kas
1987 France Biondi, LaurentLaurent Biondi (FRA) Système U
1988 France Ribeiro, MauroMauro Ribeiro (FRA) RMO
1989 France Pires Leal, SergeSerge Pires Leal (FRA)
1990 France Moretti, DenisDenis Moretti (FRA)
1991 France Drubay, EricEric Drubay (FRA)
1992 France Leproux, DenisDenis Leproux (FRA)
1993 France Magnien, EmmanuelEmmanuel Magnien (FRA) Castorama
1994 France Lebreton, LylianLylian Lebreton (FRA) Aubervilliers 93-Peugeot
1995 France Hubert, EmmanuelEmmanuel Hubert (FRA) FFC-LCPF
1996 France Delrieu, DavidDavid Delrieu (FRA) Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne
1997 United States Julich, BobbyBobby Julich (USA) Cofidis
1998 Italy Gasperoni, CristianCristian Gasperoni (ITA) Amore & Vita-Forzacore
1999 Poland Gwiazdowski, GrzegorzGrzegorz Gwiazdowski (POL) Cofidis
2000 Kazakhstan Yakovlev, SergueiSerguei Yakovlev (KAZ) Besson Chaussures
2001 Bulgaria Gabrovski, IvaïloIvaïlo Gabrovski (BUL) Jean Delatour
2002 Germany Oriol, ChristopheChristophe Oriol (GER) AG2R Prévoyance
2003 Belgium Merckx, AxelAxel Merckx (BEL) Lotto–Domo
2004 France Pineau, JeromeJérôme Pineau (FRA) Brioches La Boulangère
2005 France Naibo, CarlCarl Naibo (FRA) Bretagne-Jean Floc'h
2006 France Dessel, CyrilCyril Dessel (FRA) AG2R Prévoyance
2007 France Gadret, JohnJohn Gadret (FRA) AG2R Prévoyance
2008 Germany Gerdemann, LinusLinus Gerdemann (GER) Team Columbia
2009 Estonia Taaramae, ReinRein Taaramäe (EST) Cofidis
2010 Spain Zubeldia, HaimarHaimar Zubeldia (ESP) Team RadioShack
2011 France Moncoutié, DavidDavid Moncoutié (FRA) Cofidis
2012 United States Talansky, AndrewAndrew Talansky (USA) Garmin–Sharp
2013 France Bardet, RomainRomain Bardet (FRA) Ag2r–La Mondiale
2014 Netherlands Lindeman, Bert-JanBert-Jan Lindeman (NED) Rabobank Development Team
2015 France Geniez, AlexandreAlexandre Geniez (FRA) FDJ
2016 Netherlands Oomen, SamSam Oomen (NED) Team Giant–Alpecin
2017 France Pinot, ThibautThibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Historique du Tour de l'Ain". Tour de l’Ain. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 

External links[edit]