A quick reminder that the 5 Day Tour de l'Ain starts tomorrow.
What do you need to know?
Dates: Aug 7 to Aug 11th
Day 1: Flat
Day 2: Flat stage in morning; Time Trial in afternoon.
Day 3: Mid mountain stage
Day 4: Mid-mountain uphill finish on the Lacets (hairpins) de Septmoncel. Basically the same road where Chavanel won a Tour de France stage a couple of years ago (for marketing reasons the finish then was called Les Rousses).
Day 5: Another bumpy mid-mountain stage. Long, long uphill finish ... but rarely steep.
Thoughts: Bah, for the last several years the Jura giant Le Grand Colombier has been featured as a mountain top finish on the last stage. However, after the Dauphiné and TdF used this climb for the first times in 2012, the Tour de l'Ain has dropped this route, and there is no climb in the entire race that remotely approaches this challenge.
Still, this is an interesting little race, in a beautiful region, with lots of local support.
Separately, one of the coolest features of this popular local race is the organization of an amateur cyclopsortive that rides the same route as the pros on the same day for every stage. Info here