Tour de l'Ain

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Tour de l'Ain
Race details
DateMay
RegionFrance
English nameTour of the Ain
Race of Friendship
Local name(s)Tour de l'Ain
Prix de l'Amitié
DisciplineRoad
CompetitionUCI Europe Tour 2.1
TypeStage race
OrganiserAlpes Vélo
Web sitewww.tourdelain.com Edit this at Wikidata
History
First edition1989 (1989)
Editions31 (as of 2019)
First winner Serge Pires Leal (FRA)
Most wins Denis Celle (FRA)
 Thibaut Pinot (FRA)
(2 wins each)
Most recent Thibaut Pinot (FRA)

Tour de l'Ain, also known as the Prix de l'Amitié, is an annual professional cycling stage race held in May in eastern France. Before 2018, the race was held in mid-August.

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, which travels through the Ain departement into the Jura Mountains, combines both sprinting and mountainous stages. The 1,534 metre high Grand Colombier has featured as a decisive climb in the stage race. The 2018 version consisted of three stages; while previous versions of the event contained four or five stages (including prologues).

Winners[edit]

Year Country Rider Team
1972  France Antoine Gutierrez
1973  France Richard Pianaro
1974  Spain Enrique Martinez Heredia
1975  Spain Angel Lopez del Alamo
1976  Sweden Sven-Åke Nilsson
1977  France Joël Millard
1978  France Michel Charlier
1979  France Vincent Lavenu
1980  France Gilles Mas
1981  France Daniel André
1982  France Bernard Faussurier
1983  France Denis Celle
1984  France Denis Celle
1985  Poland Sylvain Oswarek
1986  France Patrice Esnault Kas
1987  France Laurent Biondi Système U
1988  France Mauro Ribeiro RMO
1989  France Serge Pires Leal
1990  France Denis Moretti
1991  France Eric Drubay
1992  France Denis Leproux
1993  France Emmanuel Magnien Castorama
1994  France Lylian Lebreton Aubervilliers 93-Peugeot
1995  France Emmanuel Hubert Le Groupement
1996  France David Delrieu Mutuelle de Seine-et-Marne
1997  United States Bobby Julich Cofidis
1998  Italy Cristian Gasperoni Amore & Vita-Forzacore
1999  Poland Grzegorz Gwiazdowski Cofidis
2000  Kazakhstan Serguei Yakovlev Besson Chaussures
2001  Bulgaria Ivaïlo Gabrovski Jean Delatour
2002  Germany Christophe Oriol AG2R Prévoyance
2003  Belgium Axel Merckx Lotto–Domo
2004  France Jérôme Pineau Brioches La Boulangère
2005  France Carl Naibo Bretagne-Jean Floc'h
2006  France Cyril Dessel AG2R Prévoyance
2007  France John Gadret AG2R Prévoyance
2008  Germany Linus Gerdemann Team Columbia
2009  Estonia Rein Taaramäe Cofidis
2010  Spain Haimar Zubeldia Team RadioShack
2011  France David Moncoutié Cofidis
2012  United States Andrew Talansky Garmin–Sharp
2013  France Romain Bardet Ag2r–La Mondiale
2014  Netherlands Bert-Jan Lindeman Rabobank Development Team
2015  France Alexandre Geniez FDJ
2016  Netherlands Sam Oomen Team Giant–Alpecin
2017  France Thibaut Pinot FDJ
2018  France Arthur Vichot Groupama–FDJ
2019  France Thibaut Pinot Groupama–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]