Team Vorarlberg wins the 84th Volta a Portugal UCI 2.1 – A look in the rear view mirror!
“Colin Stüssi wins for Team Vorarlberg the 84th Volta a Portugal UCI 2.1!”
Yes, it was we a summer fairy tale for Team Vorarlberg! After a very strong season so far for the team from the west of Austria, this story was continued in Portugal with the most important chapter so far.
The deserved and hard-fought overall victory at the fourth longest tour in the world was surprising for many. Most of all for the Portuguese and Spanish, because they underestimated the Vorarlbergers from the beginning.
An experienced sports director of a Portuguese team said at the beginning of the tour in their internal meeting: “This Austrian team can not handle the conditions, the intense heat and the long distance – we can delete this team as serious competitors”!
Lukas Meiler, Moran Vermeulen, Jon Knolle, Oscar Cabedo, Pirmin Benz, Lukas Rüegg and above all Colin Stüssi, proved the entire competition as well as the organizer wrong with a compact performance. Day by day they grew with the task, like a gang of brothers! Behind the seven professionals stood a very important support crew. Ready day and night – to do whatever was necessary. A “game changer” was also especially the investment of the large team bus from Arlberg Express, which accompanied this long journey.
“The most enthusiastic and fairest people I have ever experienced” said Moran Vermeulen u. Co. still “flashed” after their return trip. Goosebumps atmosphere at the time trial at 38 degrees – over 300 000 spectators live! “But above all, they cheered us on as if we were a home team. Everyone gave us this victory from the bottom of their hearts. We were celebrated like soccer stars. 30,000 people were waiting for us to come back to the city with the team bus. It was simply unbelievable“ – Vermeulen continued.
Our bus driver Tino Noe on the return journey continues: “Car drivers, bus and truck drivers have greeted me non-stop and honked in Portugal as well as in Spain. At the French border, the police stopped me and asked if they could have autographs from the pros!”
This success has propelled the team up all the rankings. Worldwide, Procyclingstats ranks the team 12th in its category (145 teams) – 8th in Europe.
AND: In the past few days, Team Vorarlberg has managed to jump into the top ten in popularity – among the biggest teams in the world (see enclosure)!
In the insert a small picture DOKU to enjoy!
It goes on! After the races is before the race – next Sunday awaits in Braunau, the next race of the Cycling League in Austria. One may be curious, how the drivers could digest these strains!