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Vandewalle beats his teammate Sergent into second in the 24km time trial in the Tour of Austria while Hondo, Jungels, Devolder and Zoidl make it another 4 Trek riders in the top 10; Kennaugh finishes 19th and defends his lead

Photo: Trek Factory Racing

JESSE SERGENT

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KRISTOF VANDEWALLE

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MANUEL QUINZIATO

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PETER KENNAUGH

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TEAM SKY

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TOUR OF AUSTRIA 

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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12.07.2014 @ 18:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Kristof Vandewalle proved his excellent TT skills when he led an extremely strong Trek showing to win the Tour of Austria time trial. He beat his teammate Jesse Sergent by 18 seconds while Danilo Hondo, Bob Jungels and Stijn Devolder and Riccardo Zoidl made it another 4 Trek riders in the top 10. Peter Kennaugh (Sky) finished 19th to defend his overall lead with just a flat stage to go.

 

Belgian time trial champion Kristof Vandewalle proved that he is one of the very best riders in the individual discipline when he won today’s penultimate stage of the Tour of Austria in dominant fashion. Having set a steady pace in the first tailwind part on the flat 24km course, he killed it in the headwind and took the win, 18 seconds ahead of his Trek teammate Kristof Vandewalle.

 

The American team was on a roll as it managed to place no less than 6 riders in the top 10. In addition to Vandewalle and Sergent, Danilo Hondo was 4th, Bob Jungels 5th, Stijn Devolder 8th and Riccardo Zoidl 9th.

 

After yesterday’s final mountain stage, the final GC was set to be shaped in today’s completely flat 24.1km time trial in Podersdorf-am-See. The riders had beautiful sunshine but a strong wind blew against the riders in the second part, making gauging the efforts extremely important.

 

Andre Piechele (Bardiani) was the first rider down the ramp but it was Grischa Janorscke who set an early best time. However, he was beaten by Tim De Troyer (Wanty=) who went 14 seconds faster than the German.

 

Veteran Hondo had already set the best intermediate time and so it was no surprise that the German moved into the hot seat when he crossed the line. However, his lead was under threat as both Gert Joear (Cofidis) and Devolder had been faster than him at the intermediate check.

 

None of them could keep up the speed though and so Hondo stayed in the provisional lead, holding off the Estonian by 10 seconds. At this point, however, it had been reported that Vandewalle had set the fastest split time, lowering Joeaar’s mark by 4 seconds.

 

Vandewalle upped his speed in the headwind and took a commanding lead when he shaved 38 seconds off the best time. However, he faced a big threat from teammate Sergent who was one of the pre-race favourites.

 

The Kiwi could only manage a time that was 18 seconds off the mark and Manuel Quinziato (BMC) was also slightly off the pace, moving into third. Now the GC battle had started and with no real specialists among them, Vandewalle’s win vas virtually secured.

 

Zoidl did a good ride to finish 9th and moved from 9th to 5th in the overall standings. Young Austrian Patrik Konrad (Gourmetfein) did surprisingly well to move into 4th while Dayer Quintana, Eros Capecchi and Jure Golcer all lost considerable time.

 

The day ended as a disaster for Oliver Zaugg (Tinkoff) who dropped from 3rd to 7th while Javier Moreno (Movistar) did a good time trial to defend scond. Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) moved into third.

 

The big winner, however, was race leader Peter Kennaugh who lost a bit of time in the headwind but managed to finish the stage in 19th and even extend his lead over Moreno by a single second. He now goes into tomorrow’s flat stage into Wien with a 1.03 advantage and as all is set for a final bunch sprint, he is likely to win the race overall.

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