2015 Österreich Rundfahrt, 2.HC, 4-7 - 12-7

While everybody's eyes are in France for the biggest race on the calendar, there's a second traditional July race (actually, with the Giro Rosa, the Giro delle Valle d'Aosta and others there are more, but bear with me). The Österreich Rundfahrt has been running since the late 1940s, although it has only been a professional race since the mid-90s. This has meant that until that point, perhaps the biggest profile winners had been the Ostbloc riders like Dmitry Konyshev, Olaf Jentzsch and Roman Kreuziger (father of the current one), with the obvious exception of 1954's winner Adolf Christian, who three years later became Austria's first - and to date only - Tour de France podium rider (by official records, everybody remembers Bernhard Kohl of course). Georg Totschnig is the only man to win the race as both an amateur (in 1993) and pro (in 2000), where since its move to go professional it has become the consolation prize par excellence for riders not getting to do the Tour de France. Also, because of the highly mountainous nature of the geography of Austria, it's been seen as a useful guide to see whether riders have stage racing potential, and also for second- and third-tier teams to make cases for bigger stage-race organizers.

Recent winners:
2006 - Tom Danielson
2007 - Stijn Devolder
2008 - Thomas Rohregger
2009 - Michael Albasini
2010 - Riccardo Riccò
2011 - Fredrik Kessiakoff
2012 - Jakob Fuglsang
2013 - Riccardo Zoidl
2014 - Peter Kennaugh

The race traditionally runs from west to east and finishes in Vienna with a flat sprint stage, with the key stages typically being the traditional Kitzbüheler Horn MTF, a stage which goes over the Großglockner (winner of the "Glocknerkönig" prize is a Cima-Coppi like financial incentive and major points for the GPM) although it hasn't had a finish there since 2010, and a mid-length ITT.

Last year's top 10:
1 Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) GBR 29'45'40
2 Javier Moreno Bazán (Movistar Team) ESP +1'04
3 Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) ITA +1'42
4 Patrik Conrad (Gourmetfein Simplon-Wels) AUT +2'50
5 Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing) AUT +2'52
6 Jérôme Coppel (Cofidis) FRA +3'03
7 Oliver Zaugg (Tinkoff-Saxo) SUI +3'07
8 Jure Golčer (Gourmetfein Simplon-Wels) SLO +3'47
9 Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Movistar Team) COL +4'14
10 Thomas Degand (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) BEL +4'15

This year's race is slightly longer (9 stages instead of 8) which is a positive development. And, even better, the race is changing things up to go from east to west, enabling a more competitive GC race as historically the fact that the Kitzbüheler Horn has tended to be stage 2 or 3 and the biggest mountains are in the west of the country has hamstrung parcours designers (not that they haven't been responsible for some of the worst misuse of terrain in world cycling of their own volition anyway) leaving the second half of the race other than the TT a bit of a damp squib. This year the Horn is moved to stage 6, meaning there's more chance for the race to develop and gaps to be set before, especially with last year's second MTF, the similarly difficult Dobratsch, coming before it. It also enables the race, rather than ending with a flat parade in Vienna, to begin with a Team Time Trial - something rather new for the race - on the Ringstraße, giving us a rather scenic opening.

STAGES:

PROLOGUE 4/7: Wien - Wien (MZF) 5,4km
A flat, fast city centre Team Time Trial which is short enough that times should be comparatively insignificant (thank God)

STAGE 1 5/7: Mörbischer Festspiele - Scheibbs 207km
A mostly flat stage probably for the sprinters, but with a cat.3 climb just over 20km out, so sprinters put into difficulty may not be at their best for the last 200m.

STAGE 2 6/7: Litschau - Grieskirchen 196km
A rolling stage in the north of the country, this is tougher overall than stage 1, but has a longer flat run-in, so is likely once more to be for the sprinters.

STAGE 3 7/7: Windischgarsten - Gratwein/Straßengel 181km
An intermediate-type stage, with a couple of climbs in the early running including the cat.2 Präbichl; there is then a long stretch of flat before the final cat.4 climb of Plankenwarth just 11km from the line. Scope for late attacks here, as sprint trains will likely be weaker due to the tougher first half of the stage.

STAGE 4 8/7: Gratwein Stift Rein - Villacher Alpenstraße (Dobratsch) 210km
The first real mountain stage, and effectively as so often in the Österreichrundfahrt a one-climb stage. Packsattel is not easy but comes early in the stage, the run-in to Dobratsch is very long and flat, but the climb is difficult enough there will be proper gaps here.

The stage has changed slightly since that original version, but the climbs etc. are the same.

Profile of Dobratsch:


STAGE 5 9/7: Villach - Matrei in Osttirol 175km
A flat transitional stage where the second half is mostly slightly uphill but no slopes even remotely likely to drop the sprinters.

STAGE 6 10/7: Lienz - Kitzbüheler Horn (Alpenhaus) 165km
The undisputed queen stage, they've compressed the Großglockner and Kitzbüheler Horn into the same stage by climbing the easier (though still brutal) southern face of the 'glockner. Again, a massive amount of flat before they get to the base of the final climb, but at least unlike previous stages to Alpenhaus the riders will have plenty of climbing in their legs beforehand, which should increase the difficulty.


Profiles of the key climbs:


(the latter only as far as Alpenhaus)

STAGE 7 11/7: Kitzbühel - Innsbruck 125km
A standard Österreichrundfahrt stage: a stage through the heart of the Alps, which is short and flat and doesn't use a single one of the many awesome roads around the region. It's almost an achievement to design such a poor stage on a weekend day in a race like this.

STAGE 8 12/7: Innsbruck - Kematen/Bregenz 183km
...especially when they almost immediately start the next stage from Innsbruck with a tricky 4km cat.3 climb! The main thing about this stage is that like the Tour the ITT has been excised, it's all road stages. The stage is probably a break one given the tough climbs are a long way out, but then remembering the raid from distance that led to Jakob Fuglsang's overall triumph in 2012, this may make for interesting racing with no further days to save oneself for. The main obstacle in this stage is the mighty Hahntennjoch, which somehow isn't HC despite racing it from it's tougher eastern side:

They have - I kid you not - given that climb the same profile as this, the final categorized climb of the Tour, some 60km from the finish:

If you can't see how Hahntennjoch is approximately 2465798x better for breaking a race up than Hochtannbergpass, I can't help you.

SO! Who is riding this? Who has not made the Tour team? Who has taken a break after the Giro and is now gearing up the second half of their season? Who is showing their team what they can do ahead of potential Vuelta selection? Who is trying to get noticed as we head towards contract season?

20 teams are entered in the Österreichrundfahrt, six World Tour, seven Pro Continental and seven Continental squads. Last year's top 2 are not in a position to race even if they'd wanted to as neither Sky nor Movistar are on the startline this year, which consists of:

Катюша: Bystrom, Isaychev, Dani Moreno, Selig, Silin, Smukulis, Vicioso, Vorganov
Tinkoff-Saxo: Hansen, Petrov, Poljanski, Kišerlovski, Pires, Hernández, Sørensen, Zaugg
BMC: Bookwalter, Hermans, Moinard, Rosskopf, Senni, Teuns, Peter Velits, Zabel
Ag2r: Bagdonas, Bonnafond, Dupont, Gougeard, Jauregui, Kadri, Latour, Nocentini
Cannondale-Garmin: King, Mohoric, Moser, Skjerping, Slagter, Villella, Zepuntke
IAM: Chévrier, Degand, Denifl, Devenyns, Enger, Schelling, Tanner, Warbasse

CCC: Hirt, Matysiak, Owsian, Paterski, Samoilau, Szmyd, Taciak, Pluciński
Cofidis: Hardy, Joeaar, Lemoine, Molard, Adrien Petit, Rossetto, Venturini, Verhelst
Wanty-Groupe Gobert: Marcato, Backaert, de Greef, de Troyer, Ghyselinck, Minnaard, Selvaggi, Veuchelen
MTN: Venter, Ciolek, Johann Van Zyl, Thomson, Reguigui, Sbaragli, Berhane, Songezo Jim
Roompot: Duyn, van Empel, Hoogerland, Honig, van Ginneken, Berden de Vries, de Maar, Mike Terpstra
Bardiani-CSF: Manfredi, Piechele, Barbin, Luca Sterbini, Simone Sterbini, Tonelli, Andreetta, Simion
Cult Energy: Gerdemann, Hnik, Kirsch, Larsson, Lemarchand, Mager, Vinther, Zangerle

Amplatz-BMC: Bajc, Bajt, Canečky, Kuen, Kusztor, Paulus, Tratnik, Umhaller
Hrinkow: Benetseder, Fankhauser, Hofer, Hrinkow, Andreas Graf, Andreas Müller, Meier, Baldauf
Marseille 13-KTM: di Gregorio, Penven, Konovalovas, El Fares, Paillot, Siskevicius, Saint-Martin, Blain
Felbermayr-Simplon Wels: Golčer, Großschartner, Krizek, Kvašina, Mühlberger, Schöffmann, Rabitsch
Tirol: Gogl, Pöstlberger, Schoibl, Schönberger, Praxmarer, Schipflinger, Martin Weiß, Wöhrer
Team Vorarlberg: Baldo, Victor de la Parte, Janorschke, Jäger, Koretzky, Lehner, Daniel Paulus, Walzel
WSA-Greenlift: Auer, Brus, Bissinger, Gaugl, Götz, Leopold, Sokol, Taferner
 
TTT results:

1 Катюша 05'45
2 MTN-Qhubeka +1"
3 BMC Racing Team +5"
4 Cofidis +8"
5 IAM Cycling +8"
6 Cannondale-Garmin +8"
7 Felbermayr-Simplon Wels +10"
8 Ag2r-La Mondiale +11"
9 Amplatz-BMC +13"
10 Roompot-Oranje Peloton +14"
11 CCC Sprandi-Polkowice +14"
12 Wanty-Groupe Gobert +16"
13 Marseille 13-KTM +17"
14 WSA-Greenlife +17"
15 Hrinkow Advarics Cycleangteam +21"
16 Team Vorarlberg +21"
17 Cult Energy Pro Cycling +21"
18 Tirol Cycling Team +26"
19 Bardiani-CSF Inox +26"
20 Tinkoff-Saxo +27"

Looks like Peter Velits had a fall or something, he's last of all +2'11. Possibly similar for Jesús Hernández at +1'45. Rüdiger Selig takes the (ugly as hell) leader's jersey.
 
I hate the route, I don't understand why everyone says its great. Because the großglockner stage is combined with the kitzbüheler horn, there is one interesting stage less. So we have 3 interesting stages, a TTT which is complete nonsense in a european tour race and the other 5 stages are completely boring. Moreover the last stage isn't almost as interesting as it seems in the first moment. Everyone thinks its a great stage only because there are 2 first category climbs. However in fact the second one would be a 3rd category climb if the organizers wouldn't just categorize the climbs how ever they want. The only reason its 1st category is the fact that the organizers want to make it look like a difficult last stage
 
Tinkoff Saxo ‏@tinkoff_saxo 1 t.1 time siden

Controversy at @TourOfAustria, as race jury delays our squad 21 sec for TTT due to bike checks. Outcome: last place+time loss #NotOK
 
Quite a choas at the start of the TTT. Just before riders came to the starting podium, all of their bikes were checked by the UCI officials. There was no problem until they started checking BMC. The team starting 2 minutes before them already started, but BMC riders were still in the UCI tent. They were finally being released one after one in the very final seconds before the start, except for Velits, whose bike needed some saddle adjustment by the mechanic, so he started like 1 minute after his team and rode the lap alone.
But then next team, which was Tinkoff-Saxo, had even bigger problem, because their bikes started to be checked only after issue with BMC was resolved, so just like one minute before the start. It was clear that the officials did not have enough time to check all of the bikes before their start time, but they did not care and countinued doing their measurements. So at the start time of Tinkoff, only like half of their team was through the check. The rest followed shortly after that, and so they probably waited for each other on the course and therefore they lost so much time.
Next team was Katusha, which also almost did not make it - their last rider came to the start just as the countdown of final ten seconds started.

All in all it was really chaotic - the race officials pushed for the riders to come to the start, the riders yelled at the UCI officials to speed up the checks, but the UCI officials were oblivious to anything, including whether they were delaying some of the riders. Also I think BMC mechanics managed the problem very poorly. The adjustment of Velits' bike took like 5 seconds, they could have done it immediately, but they rather wasted time discussing with UCI. And the biggest victim was Tinkoff-Saxo, they really could not do anything just watch their start time come and pass (although it seemed something was wrong also with their bikes, it was really unclear what was going on)...

Edit: BMC story here: http://www.bmc-switzerland.com/us-en/experience/the-feedzone/bmc_racing_team_third_in_austria_prologue/
"The saddle of Peter was 0.3 millimeters out of the level," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said.
 
who do you think will win this year? I am expecting denifl to take it on the kitzbüheler horn but Moreno is probably the most obvious joyce. However austrians often surprised in this race so I think its definitely possible for denifl. Moreover I hope mühlberger can win a stage. The last one would be perfect for him, but I fear he is just not good enough yet to be really successful.
 
Gigs_98 said:
who do you think will win this year? I am expecting denifl to take it on the kitzbüheler horn but Moreno is probably the most obvious joyce. However austrians often surprised in this race so I think its definitely possible for denifl. Moreover I hope mühlberger can win a stage. The last one would be perfect for him, but I fear he is just not good enough yet to be really successful.
I'm wondering if Jan Hirt can get up to a podium here, after his Rettenbachferner performance a couple of weeks ago.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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roundabout said:
I've read that Moreno got injured during the TdS and did not do much training after so it's unknown how well he will do.
Yes, he said in an interview after the teamprologue that he's unsure of his form because of the injury and that his form will dictate his goals.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
Gigs_98 said:
who do you think will win this year? I am expecting denifl to take it on the kitzbüheler horn but Moreno is probably the most obvious joyce. However austrians often surprised in this race so I think its definitely possible for denifl. Moreover I hope mühlberger can win a stage. The last one would be perfect for him, but I fear he is just not good enough yet to be really successful.
I'm wondering if Jan Hirt can get up to a podium here, after his Rettenbachferner performance a couple of weeks ago.
He should kill it at this race, this type of parcours is tailor made for him
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Gigs_98 said:
who do you think will win this year? I am expecting denifl to take it on the kitzbüheler horn but Moreno is probably the most obvious joyce. However austrians often surprised in this race so I think its definitely possible for denifl. Moreover I hope mühlberger can win a stage. The last one would be perfect for him, but I fear he is just not good enough yet to be really successful.
I'm wondering if Jan Hirt can get up to a podium here, after his Rettenbachferner performance a couple of weeks ago.
totally forgot about him. Yes he is certainly a good guess too
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
TTT results:

1 Катюша 05'45
2 MTN-Qhubeka +1"
3 BMC Racing Team +5"
4 Cofidis +8"
5 IAM Cycling +8"
6 Cannondale-Garmin +8"
7 Felbermayr-Simplon Wels +10"
8 Ag2r-La Mondiale +11"
9 Amplatz-BMC +13"
10 Roompot-Oranje Peloton +14"
11 CCC Sprandi-Polkowice +14"
12 Wanty-Groupe Gobert +16"
13 Marseille 13-KTM +17"
14 WSA-Greenlife +17"
15 Hrinkow Advarics Cycleangteam +21"
16 Team Vorarlberg +21"
17 Cult Energy Pro Cycling +21"
18 Tirol Cycling Team +26"
19 Bardiani-CSF Inox +26"
20 Tinkoff-Saxo +27"

Looks like Peter Velits had a fall or something, he's last of all +2'11. Possibly similar for Jesús Hernández at +1'45. Rüdiger Selig takes the (ugly as hell) leader's jersey.
Velits should have had surgery recenty, that could explain it.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
Gigs_98 said:
who do you think will win this year? I am expecting denifl to take it on the kitzbüheler horn but Moreno is probably the most obvious joyce. However austrians often surprised in this race so I think its definitely possible for denifl. Moreover I hope mühlberger can win a stage. The last one would be perfect for him, but I fear he is just not good enough yet to be really successful.
I'm wondering if Jan Hirt can get up to a podium here, after his Rettenbachferner performance a couple of weeks ago.
Surely he'll lose nonsensicly plenty of time somewhere on flat before shining in mountains.
 
Re: Re:

Kokoso said:
Libertine Seguros said:
TTT results:

1 Катюша 05'45
2 MTN-Qhubeka +1"
3 BMC Racing Team +5"
4 Cofidis +8"
5 IAM Cycling +8"
6 Cannondale-Garmin +8"
7 Felbermayr-Simplon Wels +10"
8 Ag2r-La Mondiale +11"
9 Amplatz-BMC +13"
10 Roompot-Oranje Peloton +14"
11 CCC Sprandi-Polkowice +14"
12 Wanty-Groupe Gobert +16"
13 Marseille 13-KTM +17"
14 WSA-Greenlife +17"
15 Hrinkow Advarics Cycleangteam +21"
16 Team Vorarlberg +21"
17 Cult Energy Pro Cycling +21"
18 Tirol Cycling Team +26"
19 Bardiani-CSF Inox +26"
20 Tinkoff-Saxo +27"

Looks like Peter Velits had a fall or something, he's last of all +2'11. Possibly similar for Jesús Hernández at +1'45. Rüdiger Selig takes the (ugly as hell) leader's jersey.
Velits should have had surgery recenty, that could explain it.
I am sure I read that Velits was delayed at the start due to UCI bike checks as where Tinkoff-Saxo
 
Sondre Holst Enger won the sprint for the stage honours today, getting the race lead via time bonuses. Ciolek's Milan-San Remo feels longer ago than it is.

1 Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Pro Cycling) NOR 5'02'28
2 Paolo Simion (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) ITA +st
3 Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) GER +st
4 Grischa Janorschke (Team Vorarlberg) GER +st
5 Jan Tratnik (Amplatz-BMC) SLO +st
6 Sjoerd van Ginniken (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) NED +st
7 Marco Marcato (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) ITA +st
8 Rüdiger Selig(Катюша) GER +st
9 Clément Koretzky (Team Vorarlberg) FRA +st
10 Troels Rønning Vinther (Cult Energy) DEN +st
 
To wrap up the story about messed up TTT start: 10 seconds were eventually taken off from Tinkoff-Saxo's time, as jury admitted the mistake. The time compensation was determined as the delay in start of the 7th rider. Not sure if that's entirely fair, given that they certainly lost more than that purely due to the stress of the situation, but at least something was gained back. I still wonder whether UCI officials could not order to the race officials delay of the start time, when they saw that the team could not make it. That would seem as the most appropriate solution at that moment.

And by the way, it is Ciolek not Enger in yellow today. Although previous leader Selig took 3 seconds at the intermediate sprint, Ciolek took 4 seconds at the finish, and being one second behind after the TTT, took the lead with Selig second at the same time.
 
Its a shame how the organizers messed around on the first two days. First the thing with tinkoffs TTT start and yesterday the story when they gave the yellow jersey to the false rider. Unbelievable how professionals can do such bulls***
 
Gigs_98 said:
Its a shame how the organizers messed around on the first two days. First the thing with tinkoffs TTT start and yesterday the story when they gave the yellow jersey to the false rider. Unbelievable how professionals can do such bulls***
That's business as usual for the Tour of Austria. I can remember at least two occasions, where the peloton was directed into car traffic. Bloody amateurs.
 
Gigs_98 said:
Its a shame how the organizers messed around on the first two days. First the thing with tinkoffs TTT start and yesterday the story when they gave the yellow jersey to the false rider. Unbelievable how professionals can do such bulls***
Although it is a real shame, awarding the jersey to wrong rider happened last year also at one other race, can't remember right now which one.
And one would also expect that MTN's sports director is familiar with the rules of the race so should be able to tell if his rider leads or not...
 

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