I don't wish to be too critical here, but I really feel that someone needs to set the record straight.
Bernhard Eisel's absense at the Austrian Road Cycling National Championships and his reasons as to why he was not there needs a bit of extended context.
From the new report on this website:
"The Austrian Championships suffered from the absense of Bernhard Eisel, who would have been the only HTC rider. Eisel said on Austrian Television that all Continental Teams would just be out there to beat him. He had no desire to race against an entire peloton."
... but his absense did in no way make the Championsip 'suffer'.
Matthias Krizek, the reigning U-23 champion from 2010, is a rider (and captain) in the 'farm team' of Liquigas, 'Team Marchiol'. Mat had to ride as reiging champion and as the only man from his team against the entire peloton. Mat covered ever attack alone. Mat created the decisive break. Mat road as a marked man in the wind for over 60 km more of less pulling the group of Conti Rider just waiting for him to break. The final 10km he had to counter off the attack of 3 riders from the strongest Conti Team in Austria (who finished 3rd, 4th and 5th) and road away with another rider from another strong Conti Team. He attacked in the downhill section and opened up a gap of 15 seconds over one rider and 45 seconds over he trio. In the finish, it was 20 seconds over the second placed rioder and over 1 minute over the trio. The main field, who was only 1 minute behind him entering the last 45 km had nearly 14 minutes deficit.
In all due respect to Bernhard Eisel (actually a friend of Mat and myself), the Chapionship did not suffer at all. Mat performed the 'impossible task' that Bernie did not wish to undertake.
I do not wish to say anything negative regarding Bernie, as he is a top professional and hs his good reasons as to why he did not wish to ride (my tip was that the course was not really his and he has much better things to do in preparation for the coming races), but I do request that the REAL STORY of the race be reported rather than a brushing off of an effort on the part of Matthias Krizek that is more than worthy of a REAL CHAMPION.
HTC is a great team, but they did not invent cycling. The absense of a single rider from this team in an event does not damn a race to insignificance nor does it make a trivial pursuit out of the effort of Matthias Krizek and the other riders in the event.