Tour of Austria: Grossschartner moved to 10th overall after windy stage 1

Felix Grossschartner arrived in the first group, which was formed in cross-wind and moved up to 10th in general classification of Tour of Austria.

Info: 3rd of July, Graz – Wien, 194km

Course: mostly flat (one cat. 2 early in the stage)


Even though 5 riders were able to go clear soon after the start and gain nearly 2 minutes of advantage, the breakaway of the day consisted of other escapees. Peloton was not happy with the composition of the first move, reeling it early. It was until the second attempt, which involved Gatis Smukulis (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Hans Jörg Leopold (Team WSA Greenlife), Stephan Rabitsch (Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels), Patrick Gamper (Tirol Cycling Teams), Peter Kusztor (Amplatz – BMC), when the escape was given a “green light” from the bunch.

They established over 5-minute lead and on cat. 2 climb Smukulis, Rabitsch and Gamper pulled away. After the descent the bunch picked up the chase and the field split in cross winds. Felix Grossschartner was able to hold on with the first, 34-man group, which caught Smukulis, the last man standing, with 3km to go.

It came down to a sprint, which was won by Elia Viviani (Italy). Italian bested Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale Drapac) and Jason Lowndes (Isreal Cycling Academy), while Grossschartner took 17th. Austrian is in a good position to fight for general classification in his home race, as many climbers and GC specialists arrived in the 2nd group, 1:42 behind.