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With a powerful late attack, Tanner won the second stage of the Tour of Austria, with Venturini and Kusztor completing the podium; Ciolek retained the leader’s jersey

Photo: IAM Cycling

DAVID TANNER

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GERALD CIOLEK

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IAM CYCLING

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NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM

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TOUR OF AUSTRIA 

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06.07.2015 @ 16:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

David Tanner continued IAM’s impressive run of success in the Tour of Austria when he made it two in a row for the Swiss team. With a late attack, he managed to hold off the peloton and take a surprise victory while Clement Venturini (Cofidis) and Peter Kusztor (Amplatz) completed the podium. Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) picked up an important bonus second and so defended his overall lead by the tiniest of margins.

 

Going into the Tour de Suisse, IAM were curious to see what they could do with a team mostly made up of youngsters. However, even in their wildest dreams they would never have imagined the success they have had in the first part of the stage.

 

It all started with a solid 5th place in the team prologue where they exceeded expectations but it was yesterday’s first pro win for Sondre Holst Enger that really got the ball rolling. Today they continued their great success when David Tanner made it two in a row for the Swiss team.

 

Already yesterday Tanner had tried his hand in the finale but he was brought back in time for the sprint where he did the lead-out for Enger. Today the team had again planned to work for the young Norwegian but the Australian made a surprise move in the finale.

 

After IAM had combined forces with MTN-Qhubeka to bring back the early break and keep control of the many late attacks, Tanner was expected to do the lead-out. However, he went on a late attack and managed to hold off the peloton to take his first win in IAM colours.

 

The strong acceleration was enough to distance nearest chaser Clement Venturini (Cofidis) by 1 second while the peloton lost another second. Peter Kusztor was first across the line from the main group.

 

Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) could only manage 9th in the sprint but as he picked up a bonus second in the final intermediate sprint, he defended his overall lead by fractions of a second (from the team prologue) over Tanner who moved into second. He will try to defend his position in tomorrow’s stage which includes the first bigger climbs as the riders will tackle a category 3 and a category 2 climb in the first half. However, the second part is completely flat apart from a small category 4 climb which summits just 10km from the finish.

 

One for the sprinters

After yesterday’s sprint stage, the fast riders were again expected to shine in stage 2 which brought the riders over 196.2km from Litschau to Grieskirchen. Along the way, the riders would tackle two category 3 and one category 4 climb but as the final ascent was located more than 40km from the finish, a bunch sprint was the expected outcome.

 

It was another beautiful sunny day in Austria when the riders gathered for the start. Like yesterday they got it all off to a fast opening phase with lots of attacks and it took a long time for the early break to be formed. This meant that things were still together at the 35km mark when Quentin Jauregui (Ag2r) won the first intermediate sprint.

 

The break is formed

Five kilometres later the elastic finale snapped when Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r), Matthias Krizek (Felbermayr) and Michael Taferner (WSA) escaped. However, the Frenchman was unable to keep up with his companions on the first climb and fell back to the peloton which was already 4.40 behind at the 45km mark.

 

MTN-Qhubeka took control of the bunch while Krizek won the first KOM sprint. Nonetheless, the escapees managed to extend their advantage to 7 minutes.

 

The chase gets organized

That was as much as they would get as MTN-Qhubeka gradually started to bring them back. At the 67km mark, it was 6 minutes where it was kept stable for a while by a strong Jay Thomson and Songezo Jim.

 

As they approached the 100km mark, the gap started to come down quickly and with 90km to go, it was only 3.20. However it was too early to bring them back and so it went out to 4.20 a few kilometres later.

 

Taferner loses ground

IAM joined forces with MTN-Qhubeka and this prompted Krizek to accelerate. He dropped Taferner on the category 3 climb where he won the KOM sprint. At the top, Taferner had already lost a minute.

 

With 60km to go, Krizek still had an advantage of 3 minutes while Taferner was caught by the peloton. Momenta later, he won the final KOM sprint of the day where the peloton started to split slightly.

 

New attacks

With 35km to go, Krizek was within sight of the peloton and now the attacking started. When the dust had settled, the Austrian had been brought back and a new group with Gougeard, Christian Mager (Cult), Felix Grosschartner (Felbermayr) and Jan Tratnik (Amplatz) had been formed.

 

That move didn’t survive for long and was quickly brought back. Instead, Ben King (Cannondale) and Jauregui escaped and they did much better to keep a small gap until they entered the final 15km.

 

Jauregui was dropped and instead Marc de Maar (Roompot) bridged the gap to King.  Yhey passed the finish line first to win the final intermediate sprint while overall leader Gerald Ciolek sprinted clear to pick up the final bonus second. The duo fought hard to stay clear on the finishing circuit but it all came down to a sprint where Tanner emerged as the fastest.

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