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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.

Tour de l'Ain
DateAugust
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
First edition1989 (1989)
Editions29 (as of 2017)
First winner Serge Pires Leal (FRA)
Most winsNo repeat winners
Most recent Thibaut Pinot (FRA)

Contents

G.P. de l'AmitiéEdit

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'AinEdit

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).

WinnersEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

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

External linksEdit