It was a tough stage for the women of Cerv?lo TestTeam today, as they raced 106.4 km from Calcinaia to Monteserra, but it ended well as the team took second (Emma Pooley) and third (Claudia Hausler) in the stage, and Emma Pooley took the overall race lead.
"It was a hard race," said Sports Director Manel Lacambra. "We controlled the race for the first 60 km, and then Pooley attacked on the climb and broke away with a few others. In the decent it was slippery as it was raining. From our team Claudia, Kristin and Emma were all involved in crashes and missed the lead. Claudia and Emma were able to make it back to the lead but unfortunately Armstrong was too far back. On the final climb Pooley attacked again and got away with Hausler and Mara Abbot. It was a hectic final. The finish sprint was won by Mara Abbot ahead of Emma and Claudia. With her second place finish, Emma took also the lead in the overall ranking. Luckily all girls are fine after the crashes and we can look forward to the next stages. I am very happy about the team performances today."
There was an early breakaway in today’s stage with 13 riders, among them the National Champion from Germany and Cerv?lo TestTeam rider Martin Reimer. He won the first intermediate sprint and was third in the last intermediate sprint just before the last two climbs. The breakaway reached the final climb – the Kitzb?hler Horn – with an advantage of 2 minutes, but on the 7.7 km climb (with a maximum climb percentage of 22%), the 13 riders were caught by the peloton and only Michael Albasini (Columbia-HTC) was able to survive. Albasini won the stage, his second victory in Austria within a month after being first in Serfaus during the Tour de Suisse.
"Today we were riding offensively again with Martin Reimer in the break away," said Jens Zemke, Sports Director. "I’m really impressed by Martin’s performance; he is doing a great job and won points in the intermediate sprints twice. Our team performed very well overall, particularly as we are here with a lot of young riders, and without our mountain specialists."