Tour of Austria: Hirt third in Kitzbüheler Horn

Jan Hirt claimed third on Stage 6 of Tour of Austria, which ended with a mountain top finish in Kitzbüheler Horn. The Czech rider lost his leader jersey to the stage winner, Victora De la Parte. 

The race kicked off on a high note, with a climb to Grossglockner, the highest point of the race. The summit was located 48 kilometers after the start and Felix Groβschartner (Felbermayr – Simplon Wels) was the first one who crested the top. He was involved in the breakaway of the day which was forming in the first tens of kilometers. It included also Julien El Fares (Team Marseille) Matej Mohoric (Team Cannondale – Garmin), Patrick Schelling (IAM Cycling), Jesper Hansen (Tinkoff-Saxo), David Wohrer (Tirol Cycling Team), Frederik Backaert (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and Rudy Molard (Cofidis, Solution Credits).

Their lead never exceeded 3 minutes, mostly due to the pace set by CCC Sprandi Polkowice in the peloton. The “orange squad” was in the control basically from the very beginning of the stage.

On the final, 7-kilometer climb the escape broke in pieces and the bunch shattered drastically. Jan Hirt and Sylwester Szmyd were both in the main 6-man group, which was steadily reeling in the escapees. Eventually after Hirt’s attack, who went away with Victora De la Parte (Team Vorarlberg), those two riders took over the lead on the stage.

The 24-year old from the Polkowice-based team, was unable to keep up De la Parte’s climbing pace and fell behind with 2 kilometers to go. The Spaniard claimed the win and became the new leader of general classification. He hit the top 1:17 ahead of Ben Hermans who passed Hirt in the very finale and finished second. CCC Sprandi Polkowice cyclist came in 1:28 behind, in third.

The top 3 of general classification is the same as the results of stage 6, which means that Hirt is third overall.