Line-up: Piotr Pekala, Szymon Tracz, Mario Gamper, Stefan Brandlmeier, Fabian Schormair, Bartlomiej Proc, Jonas Messerschmidt
A week in Austria, a week of perfect weather, a week full of racing. The “Tour of Austria” was our first highlight of the 2023 season and ended today.
The first stage started on familiar terrain in Vorarlberg on a modified lap of the GP Vorarlberg. The goal of the day was to place Piotr Pekala well for the overall classification and to put someone in the group of the day. In the end, the riders managed to reach the finish line in the first group.
On the second day we went at a fast pace to Innsbruck where the World Championship course had to be completed three times. In the meantime, Jonas Messerschmidt was in a small group, which was put back. The World Tour teams wanted everything to end up in a mass sprint. The Austrian Mario Gamper was able to achieve the best result of the day of the tour, an 8th place and that also on his home stage.
The King’s stage leads over one of Austria’s highest mountains, the Großglockner. In the beginning, a larger top group was formed with Szymon Tracz. This was then placed on the ascent and now it was up to Piotr to stay as long as possible. He succeeded very well and he was able to secure a top 20 position with the 18th place.
The fourth stage was also characterized by a fast escape group, this time with Fabian Schormair on board. Due to disagreements within the group they quickly lost their big lead and the final was decided in a sprint of the World Tour riders.
Yesterday the final stage was held on a very difficult course with 5 long climbs. Here it was again necessary to defend Piotr for a good overall position and to drive him into the top of the hill. The whole team succeeded perfectly and Piotr was able to prove his strong form and took 19th place in the day’s result with only 1:18 minutes behind the World Tour winner.
Overall, he is placed 17th in the overall classification within the Top 20 and fourth best Continental driver. The team is ranked 11th in the team standings, which shows the outstanding team performance.
Pictures: Reinhard Eisenbauer