German team Gerolsteiner is hoping for a stage win at the upcoming Tour of Austria. Starting on Monday, July 4, the seven day-event will cover 1089 kilometres, with the most of them hilly following the topography of the country. "We're focusing on a stage win," said Raimund Dietzen, the accompanying directeur sportif, who selected six riders for the event: Markus Fothen, René Haselbacher, Uwe Peschel, Torsten Schmidt, Marco Serpellini and Markus Zberg.
Zberg and Haselbacher "are in good condition," he continues, "as for Fothen, who finished the Giro d'Italia 12th on GC, we have to see how he's coped with it. Haselbacher will try to pull something off as it's his home race."
The sprinter is especially loking forward to the two flat stages on Saturday and Sunday, but will face strong competition with Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) also racing. Beforehand, a mountain time trial on Thursday 7 (10 kilometres up to the Kitzbüheler Horn on 1670 m) will probably decide on general classification. "It will be interesting to see what Markus Fothen can do that day," Dietzen said. 20 teams will line-up in Linz tomorrow.