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Storm washes out Austria prologue

The prologue of the 60th Österreich-Rundfahrt (Tour of Austria) was cancelled on Sunday after a violent thunderstorm made conditions in Chiusa too dangerous for it to continue. Shortly after Tom Boonen had completed the 1.5 kilometre course, the UCI race jury decided to cancel the stage and neutralise all classifications.

On Monday, the yellow jersey will be worn by German Steffen Radochla (Elk Haus Simplon), who held the fastest time of two minutes and six seconds when the heavens opened. "Of course I was privileged to have good weather, when I started it was still good," said Radochla. "But I was leading for a long time. Nevertheless, I am pleased about my performance and will wear the yellow jersey tomorrow - that counts."

Tour director Ursula Riha explained the decision. "It was a security decision of the UCI jury," said Riha. "Of course we are not pleased with the abandonment, but there has been a storm with heavy rain and lightning." On tomorrow's first stage all riders will start with the same time. The peloton is starting at 11:50 in Chisua and will arrive in Toblach after 171 kilomtetres around 13:30.

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