While stage 4 of Tour de France was contested on a flat, short course the peloton racing the Tour of Austria faced a brutal 20 kilometer finishing ascent. The stage 4 of the Tour of Austria concluded on the Grossglockner – Austria’s highest mountain and one of the tallest Alpine peaks.
Again, it was Riccardio Ricco who won not only the stage and continued to defend his leader’s jersey. In the mix and riding strong was BMC’s Chris Butler. The Greenville resident described today’s Tour of Austria action.
“It was a fast, flat and windy run in all day to the climb, which was tiring for everyone, especially me being a little guy. The climb was medium steepness for six kilometers, really steep for four kilometers and then medium again for the last ten kilometers.”
“I lost contact with the leaders right at the end of the steep part.”
The sign of a strong team is coordination among it’s riders.
“Everyone rode well and took extra care of me to get me to the front at the beginning of the climb. They made sure I didn’t get popped in the crosswinds beforehand,” said Butler.
The other Greenville resident battling it out in the Tour of Austria is HTC-Columbia’s Craig Lewis. On today’s tough stage Lewis finished 65th and is sitting in 40th place on the general classification.
Tomorrow’s stage is not as demanding with one category 2 climb finishing at the 101 kilometer mark. Once over the top the riders face an approximate 10 kilometer descent followed by 30 kilometers of rolling hills to the finish in Deutschlandsberg.