Alessandro Bazzana of Team Type 1-Sanofi takes stage one in Tour of Austria
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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Alessandro Bazzana of Team Type 1-Sanofi takes stage one in Tour of Austria

by Kyle Moore at 6:52 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
bests Astana’s Francesco Gavazzi to net first leader’s jersey

Alessandro BazzanaAlessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1-Sanofi) has opened his account for the season after taking stage one of the Österreich-Rundfahrt – the Tour of Austria – in Innsbruck today. The 27-year-old outdueled Francesco Gavazzi (Astana), who was second, while Marco Canola (Colnago-CSF Inox) was third.

While the race’s defending overall champion, Frederick Kessiakoff (Astana) is not in the race, having earned a trip to the Tour de France, his Kazakhstan-based squad controlled throughout the day, trying to set up their sprinter Gavazzi. Astana did much of the work to bring back the day’s breakaway, but would have to settle for second.

Having figured that Bazzana was the strongest of the Type 1-Sanofi lot, the American Continental squad used young Georg Preidler to lead out the Italian.

“In the final lap the peloton all came back together, and we talked among the team to find out who was feeling strong,” Bazzana explained. “I felt very good all day, and so Preidler got in front of me with 5km to go and took me all the way to the front. In the final thousand meters the road went uphill very sharply, and I watched some other teams try to get away with 300 meters [to go] into the final hairpin curve.

“With 50 meters to go I saw the last rider in front of me crack open, and I passed him with no time to take my hands off the handlebars.”

“We started off with our big man Laszlo Bodrogi in the breakaway, and that took all the pressure off our guys to chase,” team manager Vassili Davidenko added. “The temperature was hot, 36 degrees, and the hills were tough. Then when the breakaway was reeled in and the peloton knew a big sprint was coming, our rider with diabetes Javier Megias went to the front and set a strong pace to keep any new breakaways from forming. In the end Bazzana showed how strong he truly is in the finale and we showed how strong we are as a team.”

It took 45 minutes of racing on the hot day before the main breakaway was established, as Yohan Bagot (Cofidis), Matthias Brandle (NetApp), and Riccardo Zoidl (RC Arbö Wels Gourmetfein) got away, with Bodrogi and then Stefan Praxmarer (Tirol Cycling Team) eventually joining.

The route featured five circuits, totaling 153 kilometers, and five times up the category-four Neu Götzens climb. Acqua & Sapone assisted Astana with the work at the front of the peloton, and the gap to the break topped out at seven minutes before coming down in plenty of time for the finish.

As the gap tumbled, the breakaway steadily came apart, with Bagot and Zoidl the last to be swallowed up after Bagot had secured the mountains jersey. The bunch stayed together on the final riser just before the finish, and Bazzana grabbed victory number one for the season.

Stage two features the hors catégorie summit finish on the Kitzbüheler Horn. The finish should suit overall threats such as Jakob Fuglsang (Radioshack-Nissan), Simon Spilak (Katusha), Benat Intxausti (Movistar) or the Acqua & Sapone duo of Danilo di Luca and Carlos Alberto Betancur.

Österreich-Rundfahrt / Tour of Austria stage one brief results:

1, Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1-Sanofi)
2, Francesco Gavazzi (Astana)
3, Marco Canola (Colnao-CSF Inox)
4, Georg Preidler (Team Type 1-Sanofi)
5, Maxime Vantomme (Katusha)
6, Fabio Taborre (Acqua & Sapone)
7, Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing)
8, Jakob Fuglsang (Radioshack-Nissan)
9, Nico Sijmens (Cofidis)
10, Marco Bandiera (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)

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