Roglic and Jumbo outshine Ineos trident in Tour de France test
Primoz Roglic won the three-day Tour de L’Ain on Sunday by climbing to victory on the Grand Colombier mountain as defending champion and his chief rival for the sport’s greatest prize Egan Bernal shadowed him all the way.
In this fascinatingly tense war of nerves the race pitched the cream of the rising Dutch outfit Jumbo-Visma against the established elite of the mighty British Ineos team.
Ineos arrived at the foot of the Colombier with the last three Tour de France winners.
But Jumbo, here at least, seemed the stronger unit.
This final stage of the Tour de L’Ain will also feature on the Tour de France itinerary, stage 15 culminating with the same climb, on the fifth of eight mountain days on the coming edition of the Grande Boucle.
In the final overall standings Vuelta a Espana champion Roglic, a former ski-jumper who came to cycling late, beat Tour de France champion Bernal by 18 seconds with another Colombian Nairo Quintana coming third another 10sec back.
Roglic was delivered to the final kilometre after a powerful performance from three of his teammates led by 2018 Giro winner and world champion Tom Dumoulin.
Bernal, on his own against Jumbo for 8km of the climb, clung on as some of the peloton’s top climbers fell by the wayside.
He only lost Roglic over the final 100m of the climb and even then the Colombian never looked flustered.
The pair looks set to lead their teams in a mouthwatering clash at the Tour, which starts in Nice August 29 and which looks sure to deliver a definitive generational shift.
Former Tour de France winners Chris Froome, 35, and Geraint Thomas, 34, were both clearly working for the 23-year-old Bernal on this race.