The first road stage of the Tour of Austria came down to the expected bunch sprint with our Gerald Ciolek right in the thick of things, sprinting to 3rd place at the finish. Sonder Holst Enger (IAM Cycling) took 1st place ahead of Paolo Simion (Bardiani).
The stage was animated by 5 breakaway riders that at one stage had just over 5 minutes on the bunch. The team of the yellow jersey, Katusha, as well as our African team were the two teams that took control of the chase. The catch was made with still 20km to go of the 206km stage.
There was a last ditch attempt by two riders to get away in the finale but the sprinters teams would have their day and sprinted it out for the win in Scheibbs. It was a fast and technical run to the line and Enger had the positioning to take the stage win. Gerald had good finishing speed to secure the final spot on the stage podium.
Update: A late call from the race organisers came on Sunday afternoon, informing us that they had miscalculated the GC times and Gerald Ciolek would in fact take over the races leading yellow jersey.
Gerald Ciolek – Rider
The team was really good today. They supported me all day and didn’t put a foot wrong. Tomorrow is another day and another chance so we will try once more to get a good result.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx – Sport Director
There was an early break that went clear today and Katusha and our team took control of the race. It was a goal for our team to have a bunch sprint today and that is what happened. Gerald had good legs to finish 3rd, unfortunately the yellow jersey won 3 seconds in an intermediate sprint so he keeps the leaders jersey.