The Austrian Boys

As an Austrian i had to create this thread simply because i am pretty hyped up right now. Since i started watching cycling, there were only occasional highlights from an Austrian perspective. Sure, you had Totschnig winning a stage at the Tour, Eisel being a factor in the cobbled classics and on a lower level you had Rohregger fighting for the Tour of Austria. Of course there were also Kohl and Pfannberger with a short glimpse at the top level, but that didn't work out too well.

Now for some years Austrians have a tradition of performing rather well on the junior level. And this generation is now transitioning to the elite level. The most promising guys probably are Konrad, Mühlberger, Großschartner and Pöstlberger. Since this year, the also all ride for the same team - Bora. Of course a German World Tour team comes handy for Austrian talents. Even more so when the directeur sportif is also from Austria.

In total, there are 8 Austrians at World Tour level born in the 90's right now. Additional to the four mentioned above, there are Gogl (Trek), Pernsteiner (Bahrain), Haller (Katusha) and Preidler (FDJ). Then you have the slightly older guys with Brändle and Denifl. Of course Eisel and Zoidl are still riding, but they won't be a big factor anymore.

To end this post - i am pretty pleased with this development and looking forward how far the guys can go (especially with the Worlds at home this year).
 
Austrian cycling is on a rise. I became a cycling fan in an era in which Austria's only climber really worth mentioning was Thomas Rohregger. Currently we probably have at least 5 climbers as good or better than him. Tbf that's also partly because road cycling in Austria completely collapsed after the Kohl case but it's still a very good sign. I'm a big fan of the young bora boys, Denifl last year finally showed what he is capable of when he is in good shape, Gogl showed big potential in hilly races and Pöstlberger did the same in classics for hardmen. Preidler has big potential too but he hasn't really been able to show it yet
All in all the future of Austrian cycling looks a lot brighter than 5 years ago
 
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Zinoviev Letter said:
I particularly like the look of the four guys at Bora. It will be interesting to see which if any of them make it as truly elite riders. In theory any of them could, they all look highly promising.
Truly elite? That already excludes Postlberger and Konrad, they are too old for that already. I wouldn't bet anything on Grossschartner or Muhlberger, but if I had to pick, it would be one of them. All 4 of them are very solid as of now tho
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Laplaz said:
Will Großschartner and Mühlberger ride the Giro? Would be great.
Formolo will ride the Giro, probably also König (if he's in shape) and Buchmann has said that he wants to be a protected rider/co-leader in a GT (Giro or Vuelta). The Tour team will probably only feature one or two climbing domestiqes for Majka, the rest will be all for Sagan.
The Giro should suit both of them rather well, last year Mühlberger already helped Konrad on the Stelvio stage, I think he has the potential to be better than Konrad (I'd like to see him mainly focus on short stage races + the Vuelta) in the high mountains.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
The Giro should suit both of them rather well, last year Mühlberger already helped Konrad on the Stelvio stage, I think he has the potential to be better than Konrad (I'd like to see him mainly focus on short stage races + the Vuelta) in the high mountains.
I also think Mühlberger will be (and probably is already) the better climber of these two. Konrad however has a pretty decent kick.
 
Good thread. :)

One should also mention the younger guys. Felix Gall (*1998) won the road race of the Junior World Championships in Richmond 2015. He is currently riding for the Sunweb Development team.

Breakaway artist Patrick Gamper (*1997) nearly won the Coppa Bernocchi last year and held the maillot jaune of the Tour de l'Avenir for a few days. He is riding for Polartec.

I'm also curious what former mountain biker and pure climber Hermann Pernsteiner (*1990) will do at World Tour level.
 
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Patrick Gamper has two younger twin brothers (Mario and Florian, both 18) on the Tirol Team, which for the first time is for solely U23s. There are a few Austrians on the team to maybe keep an eye on. Mario was 12th in the RR at the Worlds and teammate Tobias Bayer was 7th in European Junior RR, 4th in Trofeo Karlsberg and 3rd in Junior Tour of Austria.

Nice to see an Austrian team now solely dedicated to developing riders, hopefully can springboard a few to the WT. Tirol has a good record with U23s with Muhlberger, Gogl, Preidler, Haller Konrad, Krizek, Postlberger and Patrick Gamper all spending at least one season with the team.
 
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JoeD1997 said:
Patrick Gamper has two younger twin brothers (Mario and Florian, both 18) on the Tirol Team, which for the first time is for solely U23s. There are a few Austrians on the team to maybe keep an eye on. Mario was 12th in the RR at the Worlds and teammate Tobias Bayer was 7th in European Junior RR, 4th in Trofeo Karlsberg and 3rd in Junior Tour of Austria.

Nice to see an Austrian team now solely dedicated to developing riders, hopefully can springboard a few to the WT. Tirol has a good record with U23s with Muhlberger, Gogl, Preidler, Haller Konrad, Krizek, Postlberger and Patrick Gamper all spending at least one season with the team.
I agree, they are doing exceptional well in terms of youth development. Another interesting rider on their team is Moran Vermeulen. He only started last fall with the team and this is his first full season as cyclist. Before this he did a lot of other things like Biathlon, Nordic Combined and Cross Country Skiing. His brother is Mika Vermeulen, reigning Junior World Champion in Nordic Combined and recently winning a Continental Cup Race. With his young age this makes him a very bright prospect in this field. Seems like the two have good endurance genes in their family.

In this regard also Wels does good as a team. They had Zoidl, Pöstlberger, Konrad and Großschartner. I mean - in the end in a rather small country you have to pretty much end up at one of the bigger teams one point in time, but still these two teams are doing better than for example Vorarlberg, Amplatz, WSA or Hrinkow.
 
Question for the Austrian posters: how come Clemens Fankhauser never got a pro contract? That guy was for years one of the strongest Conti level rouleurs, racked up a decent palmares in the .2 races, but never left the Tirol team. It’s too late now, but he clearly could have been a good WT domestique. Was he just unlucky to be st his best before Bora started signing all of the Austrians?
 
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I have to support Gall because he's almost a local guy (lienz isn't that far away and sometimes you end up meeting him or even Lakata when you're on a training ride), he seems to be a big talent and he has more than enough training climbs around his hometown.
With Preidler I still get flashbacks from that Corvara stage, strongest sprinter in the groud and he starts his sprint with 600m to go. :eek:
Konrad should become a factor in shorter stage races and hard hilly one day races. He could get a top 10 on gc in the Vuelta, that race should be by far the best GT for him.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Großschartner had a bad day, he already wasn't the most consistent stage racer in the U23 ranks, but still managed to finish 10th on gc.
Konrad finished the race strong, despite having a cold, and managed to finish 7th on gc, he seems to be in great shape and should be ready for Pais Vasco and the Ardennes classics, last year he somehow had to ride for Majka, who isn't exactly a specialist when it comes to the Ardennes and also lacks the sprinting ability that Konrad has.
 
I just have to post about how incredible Konrad was looking today. After he failed to bridge to the Poels group I was worried but he ended really strong and is looking good to really get a top ten. I did not expect that prior to this giro. Now I'm just hoping he won't completely crack on one of the two remaining mountain stages. Especially Finestre worries me a bit.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Gigs_98 said:
I just have to post about how incredible Konrad was looking today. After he failed to bridge to the Poels group I was worried but he ended really strong and is looking good to really get a top ten. I did not expect that prior to this giro. Now I'm just hoping he won't completely crack on one of the two remaining mountain stages. Especially Finestre worries me a bit.
Yes, the high mountains are his biggest weakness. If he'd focus on the Vuelta as the only gt to ride for the gc I wouldn't have any doubts about him being able to finish top 10 on gc, I see him more as a Vuelta rider.
He was also pulling the main buch for Bennett on the Imola stage after Ulissi and Betancur attacked, If I remember correctly he was his last man on stage 3 of the 2017 edition of Paris- Nice.
 
Apparently he didn't throw it away on finestre. He was dropped very early and I honestly lost all hope at that point but he seems to be really good at pacing himself, got back to the third group and was even one of the strongest from the group on Jafferau. The first top ten for an Austrian in a gt since Totschnig I think is now looking likelier than ever
 
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I'm impressed, he didn't crack in the high mountains, they aren't his biggest strength, but he managed to limit his losses.
He's more visible in shorter stage races, but in the end that was a very solid performance.
Großschartner also rode a good stage and finished 3rd.
 
Very difficult to tell what Konrad's biggest strength is, imo. At this point, there are signs he might have the engine and recovery of a true GT contender. I agree he's more visible in shorter stage races, but is necessarily better at them? It's also a shame, that he couldn't exploit his sprint to compete for a stage win, since there were no mountain stages in this Giro really suiting the scenario of a GC group sprint other than Montevergine.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Cance > TheRest said:
Very difficult to tell what Konrad's biggest strength is, imo. At this point, there are signs he might have the engine and recovery of a true GT contender. I agree he's more visible in shorter stage races, but is necessarily better at them? It's also a shame, that he couldn't exploit his sprint to compete for a stage win, since there were no mountain stages in this Giro really suiting the scenario of a GC group sprint other than Montevergine.
I'd like to see a fresh Konrad riding the Vuelta for gc, this year or next year.
Last year he was done after they made him ride the TdS after the Giro and had a bad 2nd half of the season, so let's hope that they've learned from that mistake.
 
I still think Konrads true strength are his engine and sprint (for a climber) and not so much his high mountain climbing. But he surprised me woth holding on for sure. Like Mayomaniac, i can see the Vuelta fitting him best of the GTs.

On an other noter - Pernsteiner won the GP Lugano today. After only switching to the road fully this winter he amazes me. 14th at Tour de Romandie and now a win (against a very strong field). Seeing his climbing strength i hope for a GT debut this year. Preferable winning the Tour of Austria and July and then going for the Vuelta.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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ppanther92 said:
I still think Konrads true strength are his engine and sprint (for a climber) and not so much his high mountain climbing. But he surprised me woth holding on for sure. Like Mayomaniac, i can see the Vuelta fitting him best of the GTs.

On an other noter - Pernsteiner won the GP Lugano today. After only switching to the road fully this winter he amazes me. 14th at Tour de Romandie and now a win (against a very strong field). Seeing his climbing strength i hope for a GT debut this year. Preferable winning the Tour of Austria and July and then going for the Vuelta.
Was one of the best climbers in MTB Marathon racing, so him doing well is not a huge surprise, he already finished 6th on gc in the Österreich Rundfahrt 2 years ago when he did both, MTB Marathons and a few road races, at the same time.
He was already a good MTB stage racer, so he should have good recovery.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
ppanther92 said:
I still think Konrads true strength are his engine and sprint (for a climber) and not so much his high mountain climbing. But he surprised me woth holding on for sure. Like Mayomaniac, i can see the Vuelta fitting him best of the GTs.

On an other noter - Pernsteiner won the GP Lugano today. After only switching to the road fully this winter he amazes me. 14th at Tour de Romandie and now a win (against a very strong field). Seeing his climbing strength i hope for a GT debut this year. Preferable winning the Tour of Austria and July and then going for the Vuelta.
Was one of the best climbers in MTB Marathon racing, so him doing well is not a huge surprise, he already finished 6th on gc in the Österreich Rundfahrt 2 years ago when he did both, MTB Marathons and a few road races, at the same time.
He was already a good MTB stage racer, so he should have good recovery.
I know, i know, but still i am amazed by how easy he made that change.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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ppanther92 said:
Mayomaniac said:
ppanther92 said:
I still think Konrads true strength are his engine and sprint (for a climber) and not so much his high mountain climbing. But he surprised me woth holding on for sure. Like Mayomaniac, i can see the Vuelta fitting him best of the GTs.

On an other noter - Pernsteiner won the GP Lugano today. After only switching to the road fully this winter he amazes me. 14th at Tour de Romandie and now a win (against a very strong field). Seeing his climbing strength i hope for a GT debut this year. Preferable winning the Tour of Austria and July and then going for the Vuelta.
Was one of the best climbers in MTB Marathon racing, so him doing well is not a huge surprise, he already finished 6th on gc in the Österreich Rundfahrt 2 years ago when he did both, MTB Marathons and a few road races, at the same time.
He was already a good MTB stage racer, so he should have good recovery.
I know, i know, but still i am amazed by how easy he made that change.
I mean, MTB Marathons and stage races are probably the closest thing to hard mountain stages and stage races that suit the climbers, the difference isn't that big.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
ppanther92 said:
Mayomaniac said:
ppanther92 said:
I still think Konrads true strength are his engine and sprint (for a climber) and not so much his high mountain climbing. But he surprised me woth holding on for sure. Like Mayomaniac, i can see the Vuelta fitting him best of the GTs.

On an other noter - Pernsteiner won the GP Lugano today. After only switching to the road fully this winter he amazes me. 14th at Tour de Romandie and now a win (against a very strong field). Seeing his climbing strength i hope for a GT debut this year. Preferable winning the Tour of Austria and July and then going for the Vuelta.
Was one of the best climbers in MTB Marathon racing, so him doing well is not a huge surprise, he already finished 6th on gc in the Österreich Rundfahrt 2 years ago when he did both, MTB Marathons and a few road races, at the same time.
He was already a good MTB stage racer, so he should have good recovery.
I know, i know, but still i am amazed by how easy he made that change.
I mean, MTB Marathons and stage races are probably the closest thing to hard mountain stages and stage races that suit the climbers, the difference isn't that big.
True, but are there others who made a successful transition? I mean riding in a peloton on the road and road tactics are still a different thing.
 

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