The 3rd stage of the Tour of Austria saw another bunch sprint for the 3rd day in a row. Today’s victor was Rick Zabel (BMC Racing), he crossed the line just ahead of Angel Vicioso (Katusha) and Jan Tratnik (Amplatz-BMC).
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were once again part of the finale as Kristian Sbaragli finished 1 step off the podium in 4th during the big bunch sprint. The sprinters almost missed their chance today as 7 riders escaped very late in the stage and had the chance to make it to the finish together. A lack of cooperation put an end to their hopes though.
The early racing saw 3 riders jump clear of the peloton with our African team taking responsibility behind the escapees to protect our race leader, Gerald Ciolek. The gap grew to a maximum of 6 minutes but our African team would not let them get away in the end.
Unfortunately Gerald lost his yellow jersey by a matter of seconds to Vicioso today but the result could be a blessing in disguise ahead of tomorrow’s first real GC stage. Riders will take on 210km before finishing atop the cat 1 climb to Drobatsch.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
It was a really warm stage and the final was pretty hard which made it a tough day. We controlled the race all stage for the yellow jersey and in the sprint Gerald and I were both up there to compete for the victory. I was in a good position and got another okay result but the victory just doesn’t want to come. I am a bit disappointed.