Tour of Austria – Stage 1 – Thierry Marichal «Our fear was that we would not be fully competitive»

04 July 2015

IAM Cycling

IAM Cycling Tour d'Autriche TTT illus

Far from Utrecht and the fervor of the Tour de France, a portion of the peloton has been racing over the streets of Vienna to try their skill in a 5.4 kilometer team trial, which acted as the opening stage of the Tour of Austria.  And even if Katusha emerged with a winning time of 5’45”, the IAM Cycling team certainly held its own by taking a strong 5th place, just eight seconds off the top step of the podium.  That small gap will give the Swiss team the opportunity to look forward to the rest of the race with serenity and confidence.

On a rolling course through the old town, the riders had only to worry about negotiating some passages over tram rails, without having any mishaps along the way.  However, a difference in materials typical for a time trial spiced up the situation.  “This prologue was a bit special since everyone had to use the traditional road set-up, and not time trial equipment,” DS Thierry Marichal explained.  “We came to this race with some of our younger guys who are perhaps better climbers than experts against the clock, so we were afraid that we wouldn’t be completely competitive.  But ultimately, our riders did a very good job, and took an excellent 5th place.”

IAM Cycling Paris-Nice Devenyns Dries

This performance puts the team in the best possible position for the coming stages.  “Sunday I think is a stage that should end with a mass sprint,” Marichal continued.  “We hope so since we have some guys on the team who will be able to sprint extremely well.”