Tour de l’Ain: Trentin holds onto green jersey on tough mountain stage
The Italian will start the final day with a big chance of winning his second points classification of the year.
Côte de Samognat, Côte de Viry, Côte de Plagne, Côte de Giron, Col de Menthières and Lélex Monts-Jura made up for a savage menu on the queen-stage of the Tour de l'Ain, a short but hectic one right from the start. It took for more than an hour to witness the birth of a breakaway, but before that happened, Etixx – Quick-Step's Matteo Trentin – GC leader from day one – won the sole intermediate sprint of stage 3, at Arbent, a regular feature on the course of the race.
Eventually, Remy Di Gregorio (Delko-Marseille), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie) slipped away and worked to establish a lead of four minutes, but they were caught on the penultimate climb, where a plethora of attacks disintegrated the peloton, leaving a group of just 15 riders at the front. Despite several moves, they stayed together until the final ascent, where Sam Oomen (Giant-Alpecin) took the win and jumped in the general classification hot seat, ahead of Pierre Latour (AG2R) and Bart de Clercq (Lotto-Soudal).
Having around 4 200 meters of climbing packed in less than 150 kilometers, stage 3 of the Tour de l'Ain was one of the most testing of the season and led to a day of suffering for many riders. Despite the grueling parcours, Matteo Trentin rode a strong race and overcome this test, cementing his first place in the points rankings before Saturday's mountainous stage between Lagnieu and Belley (132.2 kilometers), which will put an end to the French event.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele