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Martin Kohler rode impressively in the day's long breakaway. (©Sandro Zangrando.)
Martin Kohler rode impressively in the day's long breakaway. (©Sandro Zangrando.)

Tour of Austria, Stage 4: Kohler On The Front

6. July 2011

St. Johann/Alpendorf, Austria

BMC Racing Team's Martin Kohler spent much of Wednesday's longest stage of the Tour of Austria in a seven-man breakaway. But the combination of several steep climbs and warm temperatures spelled the end of his long escape.

Long Day

As the 199.5-kilometer race crossed over Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner, Kohler and his breakaway companions had a nearly five-minute advantage. But with more than half the stage to go, Kohler wasn't feeling good about his chances. "I felt like the strongest guy in the breakaway, but in the beginning, I didn't ride with the front group so I could save some energy," the Swiss national champion said. "But the day got longer and longer and longer. On the last climb, when it got steep, I didn't have anything left and they (my breakaway companions) almost crashed me. Then I couldn't bridge up. The SKIL-Shimano guy (Alexandre Geniez) attacked and then I was done."

Butler Helps Santambrogio
Geniez soloed to win the stage as Mauro Santambrogio finished fifth to hold onto second overall behind Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana). After helping with the chase of the late attacks, Chris Butler lost contact with the front group and slipped from seventh to 10th overall. "It was better for Chris to do the work than try to maintain his spot on GC," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said. "We tried to give Mauro an opportunity to win the race."