Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Kristof Vandewalle and Marco Bandiera made sure the team had the chance for a stage victory at the 228.3km Tour of Austria Stage 5 on Thursday.
They made a breakaway of 12 riders after 60km of racing, and their gap was more than 12 minutes with just a handful of kilometers left in the race. The most important moment was the last 4km, which Sports Director Tom Steels said was "very steep." In those kilometers, Diego Caccia (Farnese Vini) attempted to go solo. However, Vandewalle chased him down and overtook him with 2km to go.
"The last 3km he went really hard," Steels said. "Kristof closed the gap and then went alone. He had 10 seconds, but one of the riders closed the gap, with Marco on his wheel. Vandewalle was caught with 300 meters to go."
That rider was Fabio Taborre (Acqua & Sapone). Marco couldn't beat Taborre in the sprint, finishing 2nd. Matthias Brandle (Team NetApp) took 3rd.
"It was good today," Steels said. "The last kilometers were very steep, with kilometers 2 and 1 averaging 15 percent. So, that was a very hard climb."