Cycling: The same picture of victory in East Tyrol as the day before yesterday in Bad Ischl: The Italian top sprinter Oscar Gatto won the mass sprint of the fourth stage of the 66th Int. Tour of Austria from Kitzbühel to Matrei/Osttirol (171,9 km) in front of the Spaniard Jose Lobato and the Austrian Marco Haller. Pete Kennaugh remains the leader in the overall standings.
The fourth stage of the 66th International Tour of Austria started in Kitzbühel in pouring rain. After Wiesbauer-Mountain classification” Pass Thurn, at 30 kilometers on the ascent to the Felbertauern, a breakaway group of three formed. Giro stage winner Marco Canola from Bardiani CSF, Pawel Polianski (TCS) and Marco Minnaard (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) extended their lead to over two minutes up to the Felbertauern tunnel. After the first drive through Lienz, the lead leveled off at over four minutes.
Minnaard had bad luck immediately after the last "Wiesbauer" mountain classification Fronstadl. The Dutchman had a defect and was soon swallowed up by the peloton. Up front, Canola, who won the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia and the mountain classification at Tirreno-Adriatico this year, and Polianski fought a heated duel with the peloton. With 20 kilometers to go, the duo still had a two-minute lead. But just five kilometers before the finish line, the two pros died and their 120-kilometer run came to an end.
Oscar Gatto finally prevailed in an exciting mass sprint against the Spaniard Jose Lobato (Movistar) and the Carinthian Katusha professional Marco Haller. “That was fantastic again today! To win you need three things, which I currently have: a great team, perfect legs and mental strength. I've had it since my win two days ago", the Italian Gatto, who also won a stage at the Giro d'Italia, cheered at the finish. Marco Haller was satisfied this time: "My teammates gave me great support and we tried everything, but Oscar just can't be beat at the moment."
The fourth stage after Osttirol brought no change in the overall standings: Brit Pete Kennaugh, who finished tenth today, still leads 29 seconds ahead of Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) and 40 seconds ahead of Javier Moreno (Movistar). “That was a trouble-free stage for us today”, said the overall leader.
Wels Gourmetfein professional Patrick Konrad, who lives near Laxenburg in Lower Austria, has also been leading the U25 junior classification, powered by Tchibo, since the first stage. The 22-year-old talent is 1:28 ahead of Denmark's Jesper Hansen and 1:29 ahead of yesterday's stage winner Dayer Quintana. In the overall standings, the young star was able to defend his fifth place today. "The halfway point of the tour is over, now the next two very difficult stages with the Glockner and Dobratsch are still to come", said Konrad, who, especially in the individual time trial in Podersdorf am Neusiedler See, is capable of making another leap forward as a strong time trialist.