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Hyper-aggressive position for the sprint lead-out
How much air pressure pros use at the Tour de France
National theme bike for Tour's lone Japanese rider
Teams bringing multiple models of sponsor bikes
Mother nature threw a little bit of everything at the Tour of Austria today.
Traditional climbs Kitzbüheler Horn and Großglockner feature in race
The Tour of Austria will start this year in Innsbruck for the first time, before covering 1153.9km and 12,900 climbing meters and ending in Vienna for the 55th time. In between, the 144 rider-strong peloton will face climbs including the Kitzbüheler Horn and the Großglockner, and a 24km time trial in the eight-stage race to be held from July 1-8.
The first stage, with both the start and finish in Innsbruck, features five laps of a 30m long course. The climbing starts on the second stage, which finishes atop the Kitzbüheler Horn. Stage three starts with climbs but ends flat, giving the sprinters a chance.
The fourth stage is the queen stage, with the hors categorie Großglockner in the middle of the stage. That marks the end of the major climbs, although the fifth stage, the longest at 228.3km, ends with a short but steep – up to 22% -- unranked climb up to Sonntagberg.
The sprinters will have their chance again on the sixth stage, and the time trial specialists on the seventh stage. The race then takes its traditional finish in the national capital of Vienna, where the overall winner will be crowned.
Sweden's Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) won the race in 2011.
64th Tour of Austria:
Stage 1, July 1: Innsbruck - Innsbruck, 153 km
Stage 2, July 2: Innsbruck - Kitzbüheler Horn, 157,4 km
Stage 3, July 3: Kitzbühel - Lienz, 141,8 km
Stage 4, July 4: Lienz - St. Johann/Alpendorf, 141,3
Stage 5, July 5: Skt. Johann/Alpendorf - Sonntagberg, 228,3 km
Stage 6, July 6: Waidhofen/Ybbs - Melk, 185,2 km
Stage 7, July 7: Podersdorf am Neusiedler See, ITT, 24,1 km
Stage 8, July 8: Podersdorf am Neusiedler See - Wien, Burgtheater, 122,8 km