Tour of Austria is the next race for Gazprom – Rusvelo
On the 2-7 of July Gazprom – RusVelo is to compete in a 2.1 UCI category race Tour of Austria.
Since the inception in 1949 Austrian race has been steadily catching on and in 1996 got its professional status and started to gather the strongest cycling teams. As of today, the event is a part of UCI Europe Tour and is considered as one of the hardest stage-races.
Tour of Austria with its diverse stages enables riders of various specializations to clinch a podium. 1122 kilometres are packed in 7 racing days with an opening mountainous prologue of 800 metres in Graz, the second largest Austrian city. The following three stages with flat road courses are chances to test the legs ahead of the next mountainous challenges. Thursday stage with a summit finish featuring an average 12,3% gradient and the next one with the first category hill climb are to play a crucial role in determining the GC. The concluding stage with a mostly flat route in the northwest of country is expected to finish with a bunch sprint.
Alexander Porsev the Russian national champion will be leading the team on sprint stages with Ivan Savitskiy assisting him, whereas Sergey Firsanov and Alexey Rybalkin are to fight for the highest places in the overall classification. Alexander Foliforov is to be the main climber of Gazprom – RusVelo for the Austrian race.
That’s what Sergey Firsanov said before the start: “Everybody in the team is in an upbeat mood after the successful national championship, it has definitely increased our morale. Last year the squad already competed in the Tour of Austria, but I had a different racing calendar. I am very glad that this season I have an opportunity to test myself on the Austrian roads. The fourth stage features a 7,6 kilometres long hill climb Kitzbüheler Horn, which is one of the most summit ascents in Europe. That will be my main target for the race. Apart from the challenging route, Tour of Austria has an impressive list of opponents, but we are ready to give them a fight”.
Gazprom – RusVelo line-up: Artem Nych, Artem Ovechkin, Ivan Savitskiy, Sergey Firsanov, Alexander Foliforov, Sergey Nikolaev, Alexey Rybalkin, Alexander Porsev.