Team Vorarlberg narrowly misses home victory at GP in Nenzing
Two Austrians among the top four! Nobody would have expected this before the GP Vorarlberg with its world-class lineup, where some riders will start next week at the Giro d’Italia. At Austria’s biggest one-day race in the UCI category 1.2, Styrian Moran Vermeulen of Team Vorarlberg had to admit defeat only to Czech Michael Boros in the final sprint of a top quartet. Third place went to Hrinkow legionnaire Jaka Primozic ahead of young Tyrolean Marco Schrettl, who once again put on a great show of talent.
Today the GP Vorarlberg powered by Radhaus Rankweil was the third race of the Austrian Cycling League. A new course with a difficult finale as well as the world-class line-up with 145 cycling pros at the biggest one-day race in Austria (UCI cat. 1.2) ensured high tension! The course with 163.1 kilometers and 2,392 meters of altitude led first over the familiar loop from Nenzing via Rönsberg, Frastanz back to Nenzing, which had to be mastered eight times. In the finale, the three new laps (6.8km each) awaited with the climb to Alpencamping Nenzing to Latz. This was followed by the narrow and rapid descent to Beschling and back to the finish, where many spectators and over 120 VIPS – including slalom queen Katharina Liensberger and ÖSV junior hopeful Magdalena Egger – cheered on the cycling pros. For OC boss and Vorarlberg team boss Thomas Kofler, tour director of the Tour of Austria alongside Tirol boss Thomas Pupp, it was a perfect kick-off for the start of the Tour of Austria on July 2 in Dornbirn: “We offered perfect organization, a great livestream from K19, which was also shown on ORF Sport Plus for the first time, and many enthusiastic spectators along the route and in Nenzing. That was a great cycling festival today!”
The protagonists on the country road in particular ensured this cycling festival in perfect weather. In the fourth of the eight long laps, two riders made a decisive breakaway for the first time. The two Germans Tobias Nolde and Levi Meßmer quickly extended their lead to over three minutes. Then, blow after blow, 50 kilometers before the finish, a strong chasing group formed and soon put Tobias Nolde, the last leading rider, in its place. In the last of the long lap, 18 top riders were in front, behind them three chasers with one minute and the peloton was already hopelessly behind with a gap of more than two minutes. From the red-white-red point of view it was good to see that with Moran Vermeulen (Team Vorarlberg), Marco Schrettl (Tirol KTM Cycling Team) and Jaka Primozic (Hrinkow Advarics) there were also three pros from Austrian teams in the lead.
Schrettl still manages to catch up, Vermeulen strong as an ox
The last three laps saw the expected exchange of blows: Vermeulen blew up the front and only six riders, including Schrettl and Primozic, were able to keep up. But no stone was left unturned after constant attacks over the difficult final climb. In the last lap then the decision: Czech Michael Boros attacked up to Alpencamping and only Vermeulen and Primozic were able to catch up. After the descent it looked like a triple sprint, but due to tactical skirmishing of the trio Marco Schrettl managed to catch up 500 meters before the finish. Vermeulen opened the sprint to the finish a bit too early and he was still caught off guard by Boros. “It was a very tough race from the start. Luckily I made it into the decisive escape group. My colleagues worked super for me. In the finish sprint I waited for the right moment and I’m absolutely happy with this victory.”
Two Austrians among the top four
Vorarlberg pro Moran Vermeulen was one of the strongest and most active riders in the race today, “The last two weeks with the Tour of the Alps were very hard for me and I knew that I am not that sprinty anymore, that’s why I opened early. The Czech was faster and I can live with that.” Speaking about the new course layout, Moran said he was pleased with the organizers: “In the last years you always needed luck because the last 15 kilometers were flat to the finish. Now with the short final laps, the climb and the technical descent, it’s the coolest race currently in Austria.” Behind Vermeulen, Hrinkow Advarics’ Primozic of Slovenia finished third. A strong race was also completed by 19-year-old Tirol pro Marco Schrettl in fourth place: “It was really casual today. 500 meters before the finish, when I reached the top, I wanted to land a surprise attack, but unfortunately the tank was empty. The new track is absolutely brilliant!”