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"He knew the finish from last year where he was fifth so he made one place better for today. It was a promising result, and we also saw that the whole team is in good form today," Demol says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






10.07.2014 @ 13:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Going into the Tour of Austria, Trek had big hopes for defending champion Riccardo Zoidl but so far nothing has gone to plan for the American team. Yesterday they got their first small success when Fabio Felline sprinted to fourth.


The day was raced under rain, but it did not stop Fabio Felline from sprinting to the team’s best result after four days of racing in the Tour of Austria Wednesday.  The team plan was to be part of the day’s principal breakaway, but when the three riders moved clear after numerous attempts by Trek Factory Racing, it was without a pinstriped jersey.


“We tried to get in an early break, and Stijn [Devolder] was one of the early attackers but it didn’t go," sports director Dirk Demol said. "A break with three went up the road the whole day and they were caught with 10 kilometers to go, maybe less. It was a sprint finish, but with only 50-60 riders and Fabio was fourth, so it was a good race for us.”


The 172-kilometer race culminated with a bunch sprint, as the trio was absorbed in the final stages of the tough parcours that included three hard climbs - enough to whittle the peloton to a third of its size by the finish.


The top three for the stage was a carbon copy of stage two: Oscar Gatto (Cannondale) won ahead of Jose Lobato (Movistar) and Austrian Marco Haller (Katusha). Felline’s strong fourth place was just shy of the podium, and was a boost for the team after three less than stellar days.


“It was false flat at the end which was good for Fabio and he is also better to sprint from a smaller bunch," Demol said. "He knew the finish from last year where he was fifth so he made one place better for today. It was a promising result, and we also saw that the whole team is in good form today. At a certain point there was a big split in the peloton and 40 or 50 riders were dropped, but none of us. We have four more days to go and lets see what we can do over the next days.”


Stage five tomorrow is scheduled to traverse the tallest climb of the Tour of Austria with the hors catégorie Glocknerkönig, however, with rain in the forecast the organsiation may be forced to alter the parcours.


“Tomorrow is the biggest climb of the Tour of Austria, the Glocknerkönig, which is over 2,000 meters above sea level, and the organization will decide tonight if they will race over it or not," Demol said. "Yesterday it was snowing, and the weather tomorrow also does not look good, so it is possible they might do another col tomorrow.


"This mountain is far away from the finish, and last year many riders were able to get back on, so it will not change much if it’s not included. Even though it’s the highest mountain in Austria, this is not the hardest stage of the Tour.”



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