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We're coming with many young riders who are here primarily to learn. Only Gerald and Rasmus have raced for eight days straight at this level, so they will be very important in the race, leading the young guys."

Photo: © Team Stölting Service Group / Mario Stiehl












28.06.2016 @ 18:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On Saturday, the 68th Tour of Austria (2.1) gets underway with a prologue for the first time in 26 years. Seven road stages follow before the race winner is crowned in Vienna.

The prologue from the Kitzbüheler Horn to the Alpenhaus is only 600 m, so the time differences will only serve to establish the first day's general classification and the jersey wearers on the next stage. Stage 1 starts in Innsbruck, host of the 2018 World Championships, and finishes in Salzburg where Gerald Ciolek became U23 world champion in 2006. For a couple of kilometres the race will pass through Germany before a sprint for the win is expected in Salzburg. The next stage from Mondsee to Steyr is also likely to end in a sprint, while the fourth day brings the first uphill finish at the Sonntagberg. The 3 km finishing climb will give the first real pointers for the general classification.

Stage 4 is the race's queen stage with 3910 altitude metres; the finish is at a height of 2554 m on the Großglockner's Edelweißspitze. Stage 5 also has a mountaintop finish on the Dobratsch, the local mountain of Caranthanian capital Villach. While stage 6 has a flat finish, it still includes two categorised climbs. And the final stage doesn't arrive on Vienna's ring road as usual, but on the Kahlenberg, meaning that a close GC could make for an exciting 4 km climb.

Team Stölting Service Group travels to Austria with a young team. Rasmus Guldhammer (DEN) complements a squad that is otherwise fully German: Gerald Ciolek has fond memories of Austria and especially of Salzburg. Together the two experienced riders will give support to their young teammates during the demanding eight-day race. Lennard Kämna, Thomas Koep, Christian Mager, Sven Reutter, and Jonas Tenbrock look forward to a hard challenge that will take them further in their development.

Sports Director Jochen Hahn (GER) says: “We're coming with many young riders who are here primarily to learn. Only Gerald and Rasmus have raced for eight days straight at this level, so they will be very important in the race, leading the young guys. We don't start the race with rigid expectations, but will adjust our goals according to how the race goes.”



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