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Having been part of a big 21-rider breakaway, Pöstlberger made a solo move with 8km to go and time trialled his way to the win in the penultimate stage of the Tour of Austria; de la Parte defended the lead

Photo: Sirotti








11.07.2015 @ 16:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lukas Pöstlberger (Tirol) continued the amazing success for the local continental teams when he took a breakthrough win on the penultimate stage of the Tour of Austria. Originally a part of a 21-rider breakaway, he made a solo attack with 8km to go and managed to hold off his chasers to take the win. Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) beat Moreno Moser (Cannondale) in the sprint for second while Victor de la Parte (Vorarlberg) survived a dangerous day and retained the leader’s jersey.


The Tour of Austria is usually the chance for redemption for riders who have missed out on selection for the Tour de France. However, this year the professional riders have had a hard time against the local continental teams who have dominated the last few days.


Victor de la Parte has won the two mountain stages of the race and has a comfortable overall lead. Today it was even a local rider who beat the pros when 23-year-old Lukas Pöstlberger took a surprise win in the flat penultimate stage.


Pöstlberger is known as a good climber and recently won the mountains jersey in the Overösterreichrundfahrt. He has been very aggressive in this race and today he crowned it all with a win on a day that was expected to be for the sprinters.


The course was almost completely flat but no one was able to control the hectic opening phase. That allowed a big 21-rider group to get clear and Pöstlberger was attentive to be part of the action.


Brent Bookwalter (BMC) had joined the move and he was just 3.10 behind Victor de la Parte in the overall standings. At one point, the gap was 2.40 and this forced Vorarlberg to ask Nicolas Baldo to drop back from the breakaway.


The Austrian team got some help from Roompot who had missed the move and they managed to bring the gap down to less than 2 minutes to cancel the danger for de la Parte. However, they never caught the escapees who started to attack each other inside the final 20km.


After three riders had formed a promising move, Pöstlberger made his attack with 8km to go and he quickly got a 20-second advantage. Mateusz Taciak (CCC) tried to bridge the gap but never made the junction.


Instead of waiting for his chaser, Pöstlbeger went into time trialling mode and he managed to hold off his former companions by 13 seconds. Taciak was caught and it was Eduard Vorganov who beat Moreno Moser in the sprint for second.


Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) won the bunch sprint 1.10 behind Pöstlberger and so Victor de la Parte defended the lead after a dangerous day.  He still has an advantage of 1.21 over Ben Hermans (BMC).


He now just needs to survive the final challenge but it will be a tough test. The final stage is definitely not a ceremonial affair for the sprinters as it includes a category 3 and two category 1 climbs in the first two thirds. However, the final 60km are mainly descending or flat, with just a small uncategorized rise inside the final 15km.


A flat stage

After the queen stage, it was back into completely flat terrain for stage 7 which brought the riders over just 124.7km from Kitzbühel to Innsbruck. There was a small category 4 climb in the early part but otherwise the course was completely flat.


It was another perfect day for a bike race when the riders gathered for what was expected to be the final chance for the sprinters. However, many riders had different plans and the opening phase of the race turned out to be impossible to control.


A big break

Things were still together at the first intermediate sprint after 10km of racing where sprints leader Jan Tratnik (Amplatz) took maximum points. The attacking continued for a while and when the elastic snapped a surprisingly big group of 21 groups had gone clear.


Frederik Veruchelen, Marco Marcato (Wanty), Blel Kadri (Ag2r), David Tanner (IAM), Evgei Petrov (Tinkoff-Saxo), Mateusz Taciak (CCC), Matthias Krizek (Febermayr), Jaco Venter (MTN-Qhubeka), Michael Gogl, Pöstlberger (Tirol), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Moreno Moser (Cannondale), Gert Joeaar (Cofidis), Tratnik, Marek Canecky (Amplatz), Nicolas Baldo (Vorarlberg) Daniel Auer (WSA), Sebastian Baldauf (Hrinkow) and Troels Vinther (Cult) made up the group and they had an advantage of 1.10 after 22km of racing when they had tackled the only climb. However, the peloton was in no mood to let them get much of an advantage and it was still 1.10 at the 30km mark.


Vorarlberg on the defensive

The gap went out to 1.45 and this prompted Vorarlberg to ask Baldo to drop back to help his teammates protect de la Parte’s lead. However, the gap had still gone out to 2 minutes at the 43km mark where CCC had joined forces with Vorarlberg in the peloton.


Roompot had missed the move and so they put Johnny Hoogerland on the front. Nonetheless, the gap was still 2.20 at the 60km mark.


The gap comes down

Despite the hard work, the escapees had extended their advantage to 2.35 at the 75km mark before Tratnik won the second intermediate sprint. In the peloton Roompot and Vorarlberg were combing forces but they had a hard time bringing the escapees back.


Their efforts finally paid off and with 25km to go, the escapees only had an advantage of 1.30. However, the escapees were still working well together and with 20km to go, they had extended the gap to 1.40.


The attacking starts

Now the attacking started in the front group from which Canecky and Auer were dropped. Gogl and Veuchelen managed to get clear and quickly got an advantage of 30 seconds. Vinther managed to bridge the gap and things were looking good for the trio.


With 10km to go, they had an advantage of 20 seconds while the peloton was at 1.30 and no longer in contention. However, they were unable to stay clear and the front group came back together.


With 5km to go, Pöstlberger attacked and he quickly got a big advantage. Taciak took off in pursuit but he was still 17 seconds behind with 3km to go and was ultimately caught. In the end, no one was able to catch the Austrian who took the win before Vorganov won the sprint for second. Ciolek won the sprint from the peloton.



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