The traditional five-day stage race Flèche du Sud (UCI category 2.2) in Luxemburg had been very successful in the last two years for Team Vorarlberg with two overall victories. So the riders were very motivated to started this year’s race on their STEVENS Comet road bikes.
On the first stage already, a race at night over approx. 80km (50mls) the team was very alert. On the second stage over 150km (93mls), including six KOMs and two intermediate sprints, the Pro Continental team from the state of Vorarlberg/Austria controlled the race in which Gian Friesiecke finished fifth.
Third Place Despite a Flat
The third stage over 130km and 3,000m of climbing (81mls/9842ft) was a challenging one for the team due to heat, narrow roads, twitchy descents and Théry Schir, who had been in a good position throughout the day, suffering a flat. The next and fourth stage over 120km (75mls) looked very similar.
Yet the riders were able to defend their second position in the overall team ranking. And in the final fifth stage the team was lucky again: Third place for Théry Schir after 144km (90mls) in the bunch sprint. All in all the third overall victory did not work out, but with a second place in the team classification and an overall 8th for team captain Patrick Schelling made the young equipe very happy.
Top-Ten in the Bundesliga and A Bronze in the Hillclimb
And the team’s success was not limited to this stage race: Shortly before Fabian Lienhard had ridden to place three and Gian Friesiecke to place seven in the Bern Rundfahrt (Circuit of Bern/Switzerland).
At the Grand Prix Vorarlberg, part of the Austrian Bundesliga (Federal League) race series, Patrick Jäger also finished seventh. And after a thrilling chase at the Hillclimb in Diex (Carinthia) Manuel Bosch was the fifth rider to cross the finish line and third best Austrian, this way earning the Bronze Medal in the National Austrian Hillclimb Championships.