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Rick Zabel (center, in red and black) finished 11th in the sprint. (©AKP.)
Rick Zabel (center, in red and black) finished 11th in the sprint. (©AKP.)

Tour of Austria, Stage 2: Bunch Sprint Finish

7. July 2014

Rick Zabel finished 11th for the BMC Racing Team in the bunch sprint finish that capped Monday's stage of the Tour of Austria.

The Course:
Three fourth-category climbs were sprinkled along the 180.9-kilometer route between Waidhofen an der Ybbs and Bad Ischl.

The Day's Breakaway:
Five riders comprised the day's escape. But the breakaway was not allowed more than a four-minute advantage and the peloton caught the final rider just outside of 10 km to go.

The Finish:
Oscar Gatto (Cannondale Pro Cycling) took the win ahead of Juan José Lobato (Movistar Team) and Marco Haller (Katusha Team).

In The Overall Standings:
BMC Racing Team's Ben Hermans remained fifth overall, 31 seconds behind race leader Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky) as the top of the overall standings remained unchanged.

What Zabel Said:
"Manuel Quinziato was there to lead me out and he did a good job of keeping me out of the wind and in the front. With about two kilometers to go, I went my own way and tried to freelance the sprint myself. With all of the injuries the team has had, I had to change my plan to come here. But all the big sprinters are at the Tour de France, so it is a good chance for me to try for a result. I feel good about my form."

What Sport Director Jackson Stewart Said:
"We did not know if the teams of the sprinters would control things or if Team Sky would let a breakaway go. As it turned out, the gap was kept in check because one rider in the breakaway (Frederik Backaert) was three minutes off the lead."

See photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.