In the third and final stage of the newly launched stage race on the Greek island of Rhodes, Team Vorarlberg was eager for success and made its mark in the race. At first it was Reinier Honig, who has returned to the team, to escape with two other riders after only 40 of 175km. At the 80km mark he broke away from the two and continued as the sole leader. Yet, the race course through the interior of the island featuring a very hilly profile with many slopes up to 10% was just not made for long solo escapes, so the experienced rider was caught again soon after.
At the second KOM Patrick Schelling attacked and escaped with a couple of other riders. But despite going full speed they were also caught by the peloton. So, after 175km the race ended in a bunch sprint. Here it was Thery Schir (24, CH) also a newbie on the team to sprint to an outstanding third place behind Alexander Kamp (DK) and Alan Banaszek (PL).
In the first stage Schir’s compatriot Fabian Leinhard (23) had raced to place 7 and in the second he came close to the podium with a respectable 4th place. The overall win went to Colin Stüssi in front of Asmund Lövik and Cyrille Thièry.
Team Vorarlberg’s line-up for the race consisted of captain Patrick Schelling, of Michael Kucher, Francesc Zurita plus newbies Théry Schir and Fabian Lienhard from Switzerland plus Reinier Honig from the Netherlands.
Sport Director Marcello Albasini, also new to the team, assisting Werner Salmen and Hans Innerhofer only had words of praise for his riders: ”After their strong performance yesterday, they today also gave prove that they need to be reckoned with this season. Cooperation during the race is improving steadily. When we attacked the whole peloton was after us. Which is not easy when aiming for a top result, but it shows that our riders are being taken seriously.” See complete results on procyclingstats.com
Meanwhile the second part of Team Vorarlberg - Sebastian Baldauf, Patrick Jäger, Lukas und Martin Meiler, Manuel Bosch, Maximilian Hammerle und Der Zsolt – started in the one-day race Paris Troyes (UCI 2.1). The very fast race was won in the bunch sprint by Yssad Yannis (France). Der Zsolt (HUN) in place 20 was the best Vorarlberg rider. For Maximilian Hammerle and Martin Meiler it was the first start of their international competitive cycling career. STEVENS, too, says: ”Congratulations and all the very best!”