The 33rd edition takes place between 29-31 July.
Last season, the Tour de l’Ain was one of our team’s first races after the lockdown, and the Wolfpack picked up where they left off in the spring, Andrea Bagioli outsprinting a host of more experienced riders on the uphill finish of Ceyzeriat en route to his first pro victory.
The 22-year-old Italian, who recently returned to racing at the Tour de Wallonie, will be again at the start, part of a six-man squad that will also include former New Zealand Champion Shane Archbold, Ian Garrison, Alvaro Hodeg, Stijn Steels and Jannik Steimle.
Unlike last year, the Tour de l’Ain will give the pure sprinters a proper opportunity to shine on the opening day, before bringing the puncheurs to the fore on stage two, when the peloton will tackle four classified climbs followed by a fast descent to Saint-Vulbas. However, the GC will not be set in stone there, as the third and final stage is set to feature five ranked ascents, including the 9.1km Col de Menthières, which makes its fifth appearance at the race in the last eleven years.
“Three stages, all short, means we’ll have some fast and full gas racing every day at the Tour de l’Ain. The parcours is not as mountainous as last year, but the final day of the race should be a very hard one. As always, we start with a lot of motivation, especially as at the previous edition we did well. Many of our riders come here after an altitude training camp and we are motivated to show ourselves this week”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.