Lineup & Preview: Tour of Austria

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On Sunday, July 2, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka lines up for Tour of Austria with a strong and very motivated team ready to fight for glory every day.

The opening stage of the race is a short prologue. However, despite its distance of only 800 meters, it’s far from easy. The riders climb all the way from the start to the finish in Graz, tackling an ascent with an average gradient of over 10 %. The next day, the sprinters will have a chance to shine as the peloton heads into Vienna for an expected bunch sprint in the Austrian capital. Two undulating finishes then follow before it’s time for the queen stage of the race.

The total distance of stage 4 is only 82.7 km but with the mountain top finish on the infamous Kitzbüheler Horn (7.6 km / avg. 12 %), only the best climbers in the race will be able to take the win. Stage 5 is another day in the mountains before it all finishes with a sprint stage in Wels on Saturday, July 8.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka sends eight riders well-suited for all terrains. Igor Antón, Mekseb Debesay and Ben O’Connor will be the cards to play in the mountains, while South African neo-pro Ryan Gibbons is the designated sprinter. For support and with an opportunity to fight for a top result themselves, Youcef Reguigui, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Jay Thomson and Johann Van Zyl complete the team’s lineup for Tour of Austria.

Ryan Gibbons:
“I’m really looking forward to Tour of Austria. It starts off with an uphill prologue, which is exciting for me as it will be my first time ever doing something like that. There are a few sprint opportunities in the following days and I feel that if all goes well, I should be competitive in those stages. We have a well-balanced team here, so I’m confident we will be up there in the mountain stages and in the GC as well. Personally, I would really like to pick up a podium or two and then help the team the best I can in the stages that don’t suit me”.