Cycling: Exactly one week before the start of the 66th International Tour of Austria, the Austrian Road Championships, the most important one-day race in the country, were on the agenda today. Like last year, Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing) secured the championship title in an exciting race. Second was the new U23 champion Gregor Mühlberger (Tirol Cycling Team) ahead of Sky professional Bernhard Eisel, who won his second bronze medal after 2009.
The state championships were held today at around 12 degrees in the greater Innsbruck area. The route, which was shortened to 169 kilometers, initially led over four laps between Kaltenbach and Zell/Ziller, then to the Alpbachtal and from there west through the Inntal to Innsbruck. In the finale, the cycling pros were again faced with toxic last laps from Igls via Innsbruck-Mitte and Aldrans to Igls, almost like a mountain finish at the foot of the Olympic bobsleigh track.
The driver of the day was Bernhard Eisel from Styria, who was able to break away from the field with Rabitsch in the early stages of the race. After his flight companion couldn't keep up the pace, Matthias Brändle, Marco Haller and Gregor Mühlberger caught up with Eisel. The journey towards Innsbruck turned out to be difficult: Mühlberger fell when exiting the Zillertal, but his escape companions were waiting for him. And once the top quartet even drove in the wrong direction and lost around a minute.
Then came the long-awaited attack from Riccardo Zoidl: the Upper Austrian launched his inimitable pursuit about 20 kilometers from the finish line and quickly caught up with the leaders. After Eisel launched an attack on the last descent, he was caught by Zoidl and the winner of the last Int. Tour of Austria celebrated an unchallenged solo victory in front of Gregor Mühlberber, who two days ago was crowned U23 time trial champion in Burgenland and today also won the U23 classification, and Bernhard Eisel. Matthias Brändle from Vorarlberg came fourth, followed by David Wöhrer and Clemens Fankhauser.