The Tour of Austria will feature a mountaintop finish at the famous Grossglockner. The race always includes the climb but this is only the second time a stage will end there.
The tour's fourth stage on July 7 will end at the Kaiser Franz Josef Höhe at 2,323 metres above sea level. The Grossglockner itself goes up to 3,798 metres and is Austria's highest mountain.
In addition the race will approach the climb from a different side than usual. “We haven't ridden to the top of the tour on the “Heiligenblut” side for a long time now,” said tour director Ursula Riha. The last time a stage ended at the Kaiser Franz Josef Höhe was in 1990, for a mountain time trial.
The first rider in the mountain ranking earns the title Glocknerkönig (King of the Glockner). Ivan Basso won the title in 2001. Since 2006, the title has gone to Bernhard Kohl, Christian Pfannberger, Gerrit Glomser, and Koos Moerenhout.
Stage eight will then start from Bleiburg. The remaining stages will be presented on June 7, “with a surprise guest,” Riha said.