Tour of Austria #3: Meintjes 15th on Kitzbuheler Horn stage

Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) won stage 3 of the Tour of Austria, climbing to victory at the summit of the Kitzbuheler Horn. Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida) was 2nd and Dario Cataldo (Team Astana) finished in 3rd place. 

The 3rd stage of the Tour of Austria finished at the summit of the infamous Kitzbuheler Horn. Despite an early breakaway today, the stage was always going to be decided on the 7.6km climb, that has an average gradient of 12.3%. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was riding to set up the final climb for our South African climber, Louis Meintjes.

Our African Team rode well as a unit and led the race into the foot of the Kitzbuheler Horn, catching the early 5-rider breakaway in the process. There were a few early surges on the lower slopes, but once Jacques Janse van Rensburg covered them, Bahrain-Merida took control of the main group on the climb.

Meintjes, in his first race of this 2nd part of the season, settled into his rhythm with the GC contenders as riders slowly got dropped from the main group. It was only when there was less than 20 riders remaining in the group, and under 2km to go, when Meintjes looked to be in some sort of difficulty.

Hermans was clearly on a good day though as he put in the only real attack on the climb and quickly gaped the other contenders. The Belgian rode away to the stage win and race lead while Meintjes crossed the line 15th on the stage, 1’24” down on the winner.