Team Vorarlberg sprints into top ten at enthusiastic home stage
Lukas Rüegg sprinted to eighth place in Dornbirn
After a three-year break, the Tour of Austria/72nd Tour of Austria celebrated a brilliant comeback in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg. Thousands of visitors made the pilgrimage to the market square yesterday for the team presentation. Today all of Dornbirn was upside down and like at a Belgian classic countless fans lined the route of the opening stage, which led over 147.6 kilometres and 1,762 metres in altitude. In cool temperatures, a five-man leading group broke away shortly before the first sprint classification in Rankweil – with Felix Ritzinger (Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels) and Dominik Amann (Team Vorarlberg) also two Austrians among them. Unfortunately, local hero Amann lost the connection a short time later and the leading quartet extended the lead to a maximum of three minutes.
It went through the most beautiful parts of Vorarlberg – from the Rhine valley over the Vorderland and through the front Bregenzerwald – when mainly the WorldTour team UAE Emirates as well as Team Vorarlberg controlled the pace in the peloton at a high level. Immediately after the spectacular penultimate mountain classification in Alberschwende, a demanding climb with a length of 11.7 kilometres, Ritzinger broke away from his escape companions. As a soloist he approached Alberschwende again, after the mountain classification it was only twelve kilometres to the finish. In the end, however, he was caught up. The final sprint in Dornbirn was won by Pascal Ackermann from Vorarlberg.
With Lukas Rüegg, a pro from Team Vorarlberg sprinted into the top ten of the day. The 26-year-old Swiss is in eighth place in the overall standings, only ten seconds behind stage winner and overall leader Pascal Ackermann. A mega performance in this top-class field of participants of the 72nd Tour of Austria.
Dominik Amann: “The joy of passing through my home town of Hohenems was enormous. There are only so many spectators at the Tour.”
Werner Salmen Sport Director: “We tried to fill the group with Amann or Benz. That didn’t work out. But it’s not the ‘make a wish’ programme either. Lukas Rüegg showed his quality in the sprint. If you finish eighth in a final like that, you’re not far from the podium.”
The tour can be followed permanently at www.tourofaustria.com. You can also follow the tour on the Facebook page of Team Vorarlberg.
Stage result: https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/tour-of-austria/2023/stage-1
Overall rating: https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/tour-of-austria/2023/stage-1/gc
Live on Servus TV On and K19, summaries on ORF
The Tour of Austria will be broadcast live on Servus TV ON and K19. In addition, there will be summaries of the daily stages on ORF 1 and ORF Sport Plus. Numerous stations will report on all stages via live ticker.
Stage 1 2 July 2023, Dornbirn – Dornbirn 147.6 kilometres, 1762 metres altitude difference
Stage 2 3 July 2023, St. Anton – Innsbruck 158.8 kilometres, 1803 metres altitude difference
Stage 3 4 July 2023, Sillian – St. Johann/Alpendorf 148.5 kilometres, 2947 metres altitude difference
Stage 4 5 July 2023, St. Johann/Alpendorf – Steyr 197 kilometres, 2002 metres altitude difference
5th stage 6 July 2023, Ybbs – Sonntagberg, 155.8 kilometres, 2687 metres altitude difference
Team Vorarlberg line-up for the Tour of Austria:
Line-up: Colin Stüssi, Lukas Rüegg, Lukas Meiler, Moran Vermeulen, Pirmin Benz, Dominik Amann, Jon Knolle;
Press Service Team Vorarlberg