LIENZ, Austria - Team Type 1-Sanofi riders Daniele Colli, Alessandro Bazzana and Jure Kocjan all sprinted to a top-10 finish at the Tour of Austria on Tuesday, while Georg Preidler secured the King of the Mountains prize and Bazzana kept the red points jersey in a banner day for the American Professional Continental squad.
Colli finished 4th at the end of the 141km stage, with Bazzana right behind him in 5th. Kocjan, who three months ago crashed out of a one-day race in Belgium, was the surprise sprint finisher in 10th.
"I didn't feel too secure in the full sprint, but my power and strength on the climbs was all very good. Day by day I am getting stronger, and I think that Austria is a good return for me to find my fitness. When we get to the Tour of Poland next week I think I will be very good," Kocjan said.
Preidler escaped early in the race, jumping into a 7-man breakaway over two major climbs. The young Austrian rider topped both ascents at the front and took maximum points in the King of the Mountains classification.
"The rhythm on the climbs was very good, and it's to my advantage that I am from Austria and I know these mountains very well. I'm especially proud to be wearing the KOM jersey for tomorrow's stage when we go over the Gross Glockner. In Austria this is very important," Preidler said.
Team Type 1-Sanofi Vassili Davidenko said the Tour of Austria was a tough race with more challenges ahead.
"We've had some very good results so far this week. Bazzana has come into full bloom with a stage win and now a solid lead in the points jersey competition, and Georg has been consistently strong all season, with KOM victories in France and even the Netherlands so far this year. There's still a few days left in the race, but we feel more confident every day," Davidenko said.
Team Type 1-Sanofi CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland said the diabetes outreach in Austria was assisted greatly by the results.
"This is a tough time of the year to compete in a bike race outside of France. But the interest in Team Type 1-Sanofi is strong because of our tight affiliation with diabetes groups all over the world, and the network we have supporting us has been nothing but positive. It's so great to be able to turn to our fans with so much success and hear back from them," Southerland said.
Photos: Mario Stiehl