Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka put its mark on the final of stage 3 in Tour of Austria. Jay Thomson tried to take the peloton by surprise with a courageous attack before Ryan Gibbons sprinted to sixth place.
With its 226.2 km, today’s stage was the longest one of the Austrian race. However, if anybody thought that meant the riders would take it easy at the beginning, they were wrong. The peloton covered no less than 50 km in the first hour of racing before a small group finally got away. The pack wasn’t interested in letting the break get too much of a gap and with 60 km left to go, it was all back together again. Multiple riders then tried to attack, hoping to establish a big enough gap to make it all the way.
With about 15 km to go, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Jay Thomson put in a strong attack, first catching a lone rider at the front and then continuing solo. The strong South African quickly got a gap of 30 seconds on the peloton. However, with only two kilometers left, Thomson had to see the peloton reeling him back in again.
In the final sprint, Gibbons finished in sixth place as Elia Viviani (Italian National Team) took the win. Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac) kept the leaders’ jersey, while Ben O’Connor still is 10th overall.
“When I caught the Cofidis rider at the front, I saw he didn’t have the legs to continue so I dropped him right away and went gunning for the victory. However, with four teams chasing full gas behind me, I got caught at the end. Still, I’m really happy with my performance today. The team has been truly incredible the whole week. Hopefully, we can find the top step on the podium by Saturday”.