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60th Tour of Austria - Prologue & Stage 1
 
By Fabio
Date: 7/8/2008
60th Tour of Austria - Prologue & Stage 1
 

PROLOGUE: The 60th Österreich Rundfahrt got off to a stormy start. Sunday's 1,500-metre ITT opener of Austria's national cycling tour had to be stopped and neutralized because of very heavy rains falling the parcours with nine riders still left to show up at the start line. At the time of the race neutralization the best record belonged to Steffen Radochla (Ger - Elk Haus Simplon), that was subsequently awarded the yellow jersey, even though all riders was credited with the same overall time. ITT specialist Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe - CSC) and Italy's Roberto Ferrari (Team LPR) were filling the other top three spots ahead of the top-placed Austrian, Markus Eibegger of Elk Haus-Simplon.

"It was a security decision made by the UCI jury. Of course we are not pleased with the abandonment, but there was a storm with heavy rain and lightings, you know" Tour director Ursula Riha said. Prologue "winner" Radochla, whose career tally features also a stage victory in the second leg of last year's edition of this same race, as much as a triumph in the Dutch classic Veenendaal-Veenendaal, commented as follows: "Of course I was privileged by the weather, that was still good when I started my race. But I had been leading for a long time. Nevertheless, I am pleased with my performance and with wearing the yellow jersey tomorrow - that's what really matters".


STAGE ONE: Monday's first road stage covered 171 kilometres from Klausen/Chiusa to Toblach/Dobbiaco, on the Italian side of Tyrol. And there was no better benvenuto to Italy than Paolo Bettini's first stage victory of the season (criterium races aside). After countless failed attempts, the current rainbow jersey holder finally managed to open his 2008 account in an official contest by surprising Gerrit Glomser in the last few metres of a close sprint while the Austrian was already celebrating his own "victory". Another world-class racer from Italy, Davide Rebellin, finished in the top three spots of the day. "I made the right choice as I decided to race the Tour of Austria as part of my build-up for the Olympics. Austria is a place that suits me! I became World Champion in Salzburg and now I got a stage victory at Tour of Austria after not being very successful at the classics and Giro d'Italia this season. This victory means a lot to me, it's a moral booster" were some after-race comments from Il Grillo.

Earlier in the day it was Dominik Roels (Ger - Team Milram) from Germany that made the headlines by attacking 35 kilometres into the stage and staying clear all by himself for 120 km. He was caught on the Lake Misurina ascent with some 20 km to go. But the battle went on, and a front group of 14 riders formed containing most top players, amongst whom were Rebellin, Glomser and of course the future stage winner. Ten more guys joined the breakaway in the last few miles, such that it all came down to a matter of 24, with Salzburg's own Glomser starting the sprint with 300m left and admittedly thinking that he was going to win, just to be taken aback by the quicker Cricket. Bettini also captured the overall leader's yellow jersey and moved to the summit of the points classification. The King of the Mountain jersey landed on the shoulders of another Italian, Giampaolo Caruso of team Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce. Disappointed Glomser might take some solace in getting the Tchibo jersey of best-placed Austrian rider.

Stage 1 (Klausen to Toblach, 171.2 km): Top 10 Places
1. BETTINI, Paolo (Ita - QUICK STEP) - 04h22'14" (Time Bonus: 10")
2. GLOMSER, Gerrit (Aut - TEAM VOLKSBANK) - s.t. (06")
3. REBELLIN, Davide (Ita - GEROLSTEINER) - s.t. (04")
4. CARUSO, Giampaolo (Ita - CERAMICA FLAMINIA) - s.t.
5. KOLOBNEV, Alexandr (Rus - TEAM CSC) - s.t.
6. PIDGORNYY, Ruslan (Ukr- TEAM LPR BRAKES) - s.t.
7. GUSEV, Vladimir (Rus - ASTANA) - s.t.
8. PAGOTO, Andrea (Ita - GROUP-NAVIGARE) - s.t.
9. EFIMKIM, Alexander (Rus - QUICK STEP) - s.t.
10. VAN DEN BROECK, Jürgen (Bel - SILENCE-LOTTO) - s.t.

* Complete stage results here (pdf file)

60th Tour of Austria - GC after Stage 1: Top 10 Places & GC
1. BETTINI, Paolo (Ita - QUICK STEP) - 04h22'14" (Time Bonus: 10")
2. GLOMSER, Gerrit (Aut - TEAM VOLKSBANK) - s.t. (06")
3. REBELLIN, Davide (Ita - GEROLSTEINER) - s.t. (04")
4. CARUSO, Giampaolo (Ita - CERAMICA FLAMINIA) - s.t.
5. KOLOBNEV, Alexandr (Rus - TEAM CSC) - s.t.
6. PIDGORNYY, Ruslan (Ukr- TEAM LPR BRAKES) - s.t.
7. GUSEV, Vladimir (Rus - ASTANA) - s.t.
8. PAGOTO, Andrea (Ita - GROUP-NAVIGARE) - s.t.
9. EFIMKIM, Alexander (Rus - QUICK STEP) - s.t.
10. VAN DEN BROECK, Jürgen (Bel - SILENCE-LOTTO) - s.t.

* Full GC after Stage 1 here (pdf file)

Points: 1. BETTINI, Paolo (Ita - QUICK STEP) - 15 p.
* (Full standings here - pdf file)

Mountains: 1. CARUSO, Giampaolo (Ita - FLAMINIA-BOSSINI) - 12 p.
* (Full standings here - pdf file)


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