Haimar Zubeldia hadn’t won a race in 10 years – now he’s back on the winner’s podium for the second time in a week.
The RadioShack rider won the opening prologue Tuesday and then took back enough time in Saturday’s challenging mountain stage to claim the overall at the Tour de l’Ain in France.
Dutch rider Wouter Pouls (Vacansoleil) edged David Moncoutie (Cofidis) to claim victory in the fourth and final stage in the 126km run from Culoz to Belley. Zubeldia finished fourth out of the four-man breakaway that cleared over the HC Col du Gran Colombier and claimed the overall title.
Zubeldia and Pouls tied on time and the tie-breaker was decided on hundredths of a second from the prologue result. Zubeldia missed the Tour this year after breaking his wrist in a fall at the Critérium du Dauphiné in France in June.
Overnight leader Tony Gallopin (Cofidis) couldn’t follow the best and lost 38 seconds to tumble off the podium.
Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) posted another rock-solid result, riding to fourth overall at seven seconds back and winning the best young rider’s classification.
Van Garderen will be making his grand tour debut later this month at the Vuelta a España.