Bert Grabsch powers to time trial victory in Tour of Austria's stage seven
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bert Grabsch powers to time trial victory in Tour of Austria's stage seven

by Bjorn Haake at 10:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Austria
Kessiakoff remains firmly in overall lead with one day to go

bert grabschBert Grabsch powered to a clear time time trial victory on the pancake flat 30-kilometer course in the seventh stage of the Tour of Austria. The German was 22 seconds faster than Jesse Sergent (RadioShack) and 32 seconds quicker than his HTC teammate Patrick Gretsch. Taylor Phinney (BMC) was fourth, 46 seconds adrift. Fredrik Kessiakoff managed an excellent fifth place and easily defended his overall lead. Czech rider Leopold König (NetApp) is now second overall, after BMC's Mauro Santambrogio dropped four minutes.

Grabsch made history by riding the fastest-ever time trial in the Tour of Austria, despite the route being about five kilometers longer than in previous years. His 34'36 translated to an average speed of 52.17 km/h. "I could have ridden faster, but the hot temperatures are not my thing," Grabsch said after the race. "That cost around 15 percent of my performance. But I wanted to win here and I did it - I am absolutely satisfied."

After a difficult spring plagued by sickness, Grabsch's season is turning around.  "First the German nationals and now my good form has continued all the way through to this win too," he said. "The distance of about thirty kilometers suited me and the course was very flat and not too technical, which was an advantage."

Kessiakoff had several motivating factors. One was the leader's outfit. "The yellow jersey certainly motivated me. When the form is right you can be fast everywhere - in the mountains, in the time trial." The other one stems from his family background. "All I have to survive is tomorrow's stage. I am really looking forward to Vienna, where my grandfather was born."

Non-specialist Carlos Sastre put in a decent time trial, finishing 2'26 back and moving up into third place. Thomas Rohregger lost the mountains lead yesterday after a crash. Today he moved up one spot in the general classification, into fourth place. It came not without trouble, as the Austrian received one penalty and had one handicap.

Rohregger showed up without a transponder. "Sure, I went into the race with a lot of anger. That wasn't optimal at all; I couldn't get the intermediate times." Then he also took a turn inside the markers and was given a 20-second penalty for cutting the course.

The final stage takes place tomorrow in Austria's capital. After riding from the Neusiedler Lake, where the time trial took p[lace today, the peloton faces ten laps in the heart of Vienna.

Results stage 9 - 30.1km

    1.                  GRABSCH Bert         THR         34'36"        
     2.                  SERGENT Jesse         RSH         22"        
     3.                  GRETSCH Patrick         THR         32"        
     4.                  PHINNEY Taylor         BMC         46"        
     5.                  KESSIAKOFF Fredrik         AST         55"   
     6.                  BARTA Jan         APP         01'10"        
     7.                  CHRISTENSEN Mads         SBS         01'11"   
     8.                  MACHADO Tiago Jose Pinto         RSH         01'17"              
     9.                  OVECHKIN Artem         KAT         01'18"              
     10.                  STANNARD Ian         SKY         01'24"        

Overall classification after stage 9

1          KESSIAKOFF, Fredrik AST PRO TEAM AS     24.24.05     00.00.00
2          *KOENIG, Leopold APP TEAM NETAPP     24.26.33     00.02.28
3          SASTRE CANDIL, Carlo GEO GEOX-TMC     24.27.10     00.03.05
4          ROHREGGER, Thomas LEO LEOPARD TRE     24.28.04     00.03.59
5          MENCHOV, Denis GEO GEOX-TMC     24.28.07     00.04.02
6          SANTAMBROGIO, Mauro BMC RACING TEAM     24.28.39     00.04.34
7          POSSONI, Moris SKY PROCYCLING     24.28.41     00.04.36
8          BARTA, Jan APP TEAM NETAPP     24.28.51     00.04.46
9          LEQUATRE, Geoffroy RSH TEAM RADIOS     24.29.04     00.04.59
10          MIZUROV, Andrey AST PRO TEAM AS     24.29.14     00.05.09
11          BISOLTI, Alessandro FAR FARNESE VIN     24.29.39     00.05.34


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