INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Tour de l'Ain

Yellow jersey Zimmermann, 7th, left everything out there


Wearing the yellow leader’s jersey on his shoulders, Georg Zimmermann and his teammates wanted to meet a big challenge at the final stage of the Tour de l’Ain (2.1, 31/07) this Saturday. The pace was very high from the start of this 125 kilometer queen stage in Izernore, making it difficult to control. Quite some climbing already had to be done before the first of five categorized climbs. Théo Delacroix was active in this beginning phase, joining a group of 20 riders leading over the Côte de Matafelonen and the Côte de Samognat. 

The reduced peloton with Georg Zimmermann took over for the remaining 80 kilometer. The peloton skimmed even further, until only six riders were left on top of the Col de Menthières (9,1km at 6.3%), the decisive climb of this Tour de l’Ain. Also race leader Georg Zimmermann had to let them go with 4 kilometer to the top. Supported by the power of the yellow jersey on his shoulders, the 23 year old German rider gave everything he had chasing the leaders during the final 25 kilometer, but he didn’t manage to reduce the gap. Storer took a solo victory and also won the final classification in Lélex Monts-Jura. Georg Zimmermann finished in a second chasing group, 1’23 behind the winner and secured 7th place in the final classification. 

I expected a hard race, but it was even harder than what I could imagine! It was really exhausting. The other teams challenged us by racing full gas from the start. After 70 kilometer I didn’t have any teammates left, but I’m grateful for what they’ve done for me. Especially Théo and Jan performed well and gave everything they had. I had the same good legs as yesterday but it was not enough. Six riders were stronger on the final climb, so I can’t have regrets. After the final climb there was no cooperation in the chasing group, so there was no chance of coming back and consequently, 7th in GC was the best possible outcome. Yesterday was a huge success, so I’m really happy. I’m proud of how I managed this new experience as starting the final stage in the leader’s position. I kept calm and I didn’t mess up completely, which brings me a lot of confidence for the future. This is my best GC result in a pro race so far and I’ll be taking this experience to the future.I’m not thinking about tomorrow yet, because I want to enjoy this. I’ve been really focused for a long time now coming from the Tour de France, but I know that once I’ll feel relaxed again, I’ll start to prepare for the Tour of Germany. I’m really motivated to participate at my national tour for the first time and I’ve been dreaming about a good performance there. The final stage is Nürnberg is only 150 kilometer away from home so I’m looking forward to it. After injury at the beginning of the season and breaking my scaphoid at the Tour de France, I’m so happy that my worst season so far might be turning into my best season ever!

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