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"My job in the team consists of helping our other fast guys Alexander Kristoff and Aleksandr Porsev. When  I have the opportunity to take my own chance, I don’t want to disappoint. Moreover, everybody likes to win."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele






14.07.2014 @ 00:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Marco Haller is usually working as a lead-out man but today he got a chance to sprint for himself in the final stage of the Tour of Austria. The home rider was pleased to capitzalize fully on one of his rare opportunities.


Katusha’s Marco Haller won the 8th and last stage of the 66th Tour of Austria. In the pouring rain Haller was the fastest sprinter in the streets of Vienna ahead of Jacopo Guarnieri (Astana) and Raymond Kreder (Garmin-Sharp). It is the first Austrian stage win in this race since 2008. The overall victory was for Peter Kennaugh (Sky). Katusha’s Maxim Belkov was celebrated as best climber of the race.


"I am so happy I could finish the job today," Haller said. "This is an important win for the team but also for myself. My last important win was at the end of 2012, so I needed this victory.


"My job in the team consists of helping our other fast guys Alexander Kristoff and Aleksandr Porsev. When  I have the opportunity to take my own chance, I don’t want to disappoint. Moreover, everybody likes to win.


"Today I proved that they can count on me in the team. The sprint itself was a bit chaotic due to the heavy rain in the last ten kilometers. Astana started the sprint, but I followed them well and with 300 meters to go I went for the victory. In the end I won by a bike length. This victory is good for me but also for Austrian cycling."


For the 23-year-old Marco Haller it was his third victory as a professional rider. Earlier this week he finished twice 3rd in the 2nd and 4th stages of this Tour of Austria.


Maxim Belkov goes home with the polka dot jersey as Overall winner of the Mountains Classification.


"I am really happy with this polka dot jersey," he said. "You know, I always dreamed of winning the jersey of the Mountains Classification but I never did before. I am not a typical climber and when you obtain this result in a prestigious and mountainous stage race, it is a dream come true. This means a lot to me.


"Before the Tour of Austria this was not my real goal but as time went on the desire grew.  When I was in the break in the first stage, I noticed that it would be hard to win that stage but I wanted to be on the podium, so I went for the sprints on the hills. I did the same in the following days and also my Katusha teammates did their job by going in breakaways and stealing GPM points. They all helped me and it was easier every day. I am happy."



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